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Thirteen books to be removed from stores over extremist content
Thirteen books printed and distributed by Khrystsiyanskaya Initsyyatyva (Christian Initiative), a Minsk-based publishing company which was once co-owned by the Russian Orthodox Church, are to be removed from stores over extremist content.
In an interview with BelaPAN, Pavel Radzivonaw, a departmental chief at the Prosecutor General’s Office, said that the authorities planned to remove the books from all sources available to the reader. “All information about ZAO Khrystsiyanskaya Initsyyatyva is now being generalized and studied for the further legal assessment of the activity of this company,” he said.
Minsk’s Savetski District Court ruled in December 2008 that the books foment ethnic and religious hatred and contain calls for violence. Experts described the books as anti-Semitic and portraying Judaism negatively.
Uladzimir Chartovich, director general of the controversial company, filed an appeal, but the Minsk City Court upheld the ruling on February 26.
The company was founded in the late 1990s with a view to "satisfying Orthodox communities' demand for religious service and educational literature."
In 2006, the Minsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belarus ended its partnership with the company and demanded that it stop using Orthodox symbols and language.