This article starts with a survey of the legal status of religious communities and the requirements for their registration in a number of countries. On the basis of a cross-country comparative analysis of the legislation in this field, the author concludes that in Russia there are legal obstacles for establishing religious associations. The inadequacy of the legal classification of religious communities in our country and the blurred requirements for their registration are discussed in the article with a concerned look into the constitutional principles, experience of other countries and the cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights. After an analysis of European, and the Hungarian experience, in particular, the author presents her vision of the prospects for implementing “two-level system” of the legal forms of religious communities existence in Russian secular state and civic society.
About the author: Anastasia A. Isaeva – Senior Lecturer of the Law Institute at Tomsk State University, Candidate of Science (Ph.D.) in Law