Support The Moscow Times!

On This Day: Nicholas II Signs Decree for “Tolerance Development”

On April 30, 1905, Nicholas II signed a decree for religious tolerance.

On April 30, 1905, Emperor Nicholas II issued a decree on “Tolerance Development.”
MT

On April 30, 1905, Emperor Nicholas II issued a decree on “Tolerance Development.” It would be the first in a series meant to reform relations between Russia’s church and state.

This Edict of Toleration — a declaration made by a ruler or government that protects practitioners of a religion from persecution — gave the religions of Russians who were not Orthodox Christians legal status at a time when more than 70 percent of the population belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church.

In this decree, the rights that were once exclusively reserved for Orthodox citizens were now extended to other religions. The decree included a number of new laws; Orthodox Christians were allowed to adopt children from other religions, and mixed marriages between different religions were permitted.

While this might seem like a small step in much of today’s world, given the state religion and dominance of the Orthodox church this was seen and accepted as a step in the right direction.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.