Court Rejects Hare Krishna Appeal for Building Temple


Mar 22, MOSCOW (THE HINDU) A Moscow court has rejected an appeal by the 'Hare Krishna' movement for allowing it to construct a temple on 1.05 hectares of land in a prime locality in the Russian capital.

Alleging that the arbitration court rejected its appeal for building the Krishna temple "under pressure," the Moscow chapter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has vowed to take its fight to Strasbourg human rights court.

"We presume that the court decision was taken under pressure and does not reflect the legal assessment of our writ challenging Moscow government's action," said Sergei Andreev, Chief of Moscow chapter of ISKCON, adding it violated the "ownership rights and constitutional rights of religious freedom."

ISKCON was initially allowed to construct the temple by Moscow Mayor's office in January 2004, after an old building housing its mission and temple was demolished. But in October 2005, the Mayoral office revoked its own decision following protests from the local prosecutor.

Andreev, in an interview to Kommersant daily today, also alleged that the whole issue was politically motivated. But Moscow authorities said the court ruling indicated that they had acted in accordance with law while revoking the earlier decision of temple land allocation.

"In the meantime we are looking for another plot of land for the Krishnaites, because everybody understands that we cannot throw out the religious community on the street," said a spokesman for the religious affairs committee of Moscow government.


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