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Ten Commandments political party launched in Russia

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ivan Sekretarev, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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A new political party has been launched in Russia with a definite religious bent that seeks to restore moral values to politics.

On Sunday, some 134 delegates representing several Christian denominations as well as Islamic and Jewish faiths attended the inaugural congress of the Ten Commandments Party, Interfax reported.

"We need a real moral revolution, or counterrevolution. The moral values should return to political, economic life, to interpersonal relations," Russian Orthodox Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, said at the congress.

The convention comes in the wake of members of the rock band Pussy Riot being convicted of hooliganism for their performance in the Christ the Savior Cathedral and the Russian Parliament passing an anti-blasphemy law, which hasn't been enacted.

Sergey Mezentsev — a professional philosopher and evangelical Christian — founded the party and said when he began the process about a year ago that it would follow the common spiritual and ethical norms based on the Old Testament, according to Reuters.

But the Reuters report left in doubt whether the new party would be approved by the government.

"The Ten Commandments Party is not yet registered as a political party that can run in elections, and this can be a problem for its founders," Reuters stated. "Russian law forbids the creation of political parties based on religious beliefs — the regulations, and even names, of political parties cannot state the protection of religious interests as an objective."

email: mbrown@deseretnews.com

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