Federation Council Agriculture Committee Chairman Ivan Starikov announced that he intends to start working on a law that would restore land seized by the Bolsheviks after the 1917 Revolution to the Russian Orthodox Church, Izvestiya reported on 24 July.
RFE/RL – 25 July 2002 – The Church at one point owned about 3 million hectares of land, according to the daily, making it one of the most important landlords in pre-revolutionary Russia. Land will also be returned to other religious groups, such as Muslims and Buddhists.
Starikov told reporters in Moscow that he and Federation Council Deputy Chairman Valerii Goreglyad will meet with Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksii II on 30 July, according to Itar-Tass. Starikov explained that land would be returned through a voluntary association of owners with the participation of the church featuring the pooling of land shares and the formation of cooperative-type production. He added that he does not expect the law to be approved this year. (JAC)
Published on 25 July 2002 by RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty). Posted on Religioscope with permission.