Religious Freedom and Ecclesial Illiberalism

Mikhail Antonov is a Professor of Law associated with the Law Faculty of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg

Similar changes in the world today urge different religious denominations to respond similarly. In recent years it was not uncommon for the Catholic Church and the biggest Orthodox Church—the Russian Orthodox Church (the ROC), all their theological differences notwithstanding, to come to close conservative conclusions in the matters of church-state relations, human rights, religious freedom, and some other key problems of political and legal philosophy.

As their credos presuppose the Absolute—the source of absolute truths and values—it comes as no surprise that both churches demonstrate their distrust with ideas and conceptions based on religious pluralism and ethical relativism which are often associated with liberal democracy.


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