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State Asked to Hire Priests

A Volgograd region lawmaker has asked the Kremlin and the federal government to give priests of “traditional denominations” the status of federal employees, which would entitle them to draw salaries from the state, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

Roland Kherianov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, cited “severe financial problems” of many Orthodox Christian priests as the reason for the proposal and said a similar program has been implemented in several European countries.

A 1997 law recognizes four religions as “traditional” — Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. 


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