Foreigners and "extremists" banned from setting up religious organisations

4 July 2013 

Source: (info
On 2 July 2013, President Putin signed into law a bill amending Article 9 of the Federal Law “On freedom of conscience and religious associations.” 

The amendment introduces additions to Article 9, Paragraph 3, of the current law (“The Creation of Religious Organisations”) which establish a prohibition on foreigners and stateless persons either setting up or being members of a religious organization if “according to law their presence (residence) in the Russian Federation has been found to be undesirable,” and also prohibits in like manner persons whose activity has been recognised by the courts as extremist, or concerning whom there is information regarding their participation in money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

According to the Sova Centre, since Russian legislation does not define participation in a religious organisation, and many such organisations do not have a fixed membership, the law creates a wide field for arbitrary implementation.