Mikhail Tyutnikov, a pastor of Kazan’s Faith and Life church, says that the authorities have the right to insist on registration; but they should not treat religious people as if they were common criminals by bringing them to court in shackles. That represents a dangerous act of “intimidation” against all Protestants.
Rais Suleymanov, a specialist on Islam and someone known for his criticism of what Russians call “sects,” agrees, noting that “the police allowed themselves excessive crudeness” in this case. They shouldn’t have shackled the minister and thus “created a scandal out of nothing.” In his words, the whole thing is “a very unwelcome story.”
And Rustam Batrov, the former deputy chairman of Tatarstan’s Muslim Spiritual Directorate (MSD), says that while laws must be observed “even if they are unjust,” Moscow has given “the green light” to the traditional faiths while “suppressing all the rest.” He called for a combination of obedience to the law and a struggle in the courts against it.