DOCUMENT: OPEN APPEAL TO MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Alexander Leonidovich Dvorkin is a sectologist. His public statements and other actions are able to evoke hostility on the basis of religious identity, division within society, and intolerance among Russian citizens. He is not an expert in the area of religion and he does not have appropriate education, but he is notorious as a clear opponent of non-Orthodox religious organizations, which indicates his prejudice as an expert.
In 2009, by order of Minister of Justice A.V. Konovalov, Dvorkin was included in the makeup of the Expert Religious Studies Council under the Russian Ministry of Justice. Along with him the council included other sectologists also (E. Mukhtarov, A. Kuzmin, L. Semenov, A. Vasilchenko).
In connection with this, religious studies scholars, attorneys, rights advocates, and representatives of religious organizations started an action called “No to Inquisitors!” with the demand to exclude sectologists from membership in the council. Dozens of appeals and public petitions directed to the minister of justice and president were submitted.
In January 2015 the composition of the council was revised. A large portion of the sectologists were eliminated from the membership, although Alexander Dvorkin remained a member. Such a change in the makeup seems, at least, strange; after all it was the figure of Dvorkin that evoked the most outrage. In addition, speaking on 28 April 2015 in Cheliabinsk, he declared that he had been elected vice-chairman of the council.
We demand that the sectologist A.L. Dvorkin be removed from membership in the Expert Council for Conducting State Religious Studies Expert Analysis under the Minister of Justice of the RF.
One may sign the petition here. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 May 2015)
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Russian original posted on Portal-credo.ru, 4 May 2015
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