The case concerns the dissolution of a Protestant church on the ground that it administered religious education without a State license and that it ran a Sunday school for children, which was not appropriately equipped.
The applicant is a Russian religious organisation, the Biblical Centre of the Evangelical (Pentecostal) Christians of the Chuvash Republic. Belonging to the Pentecostal movement of the Christian faith, it was registered as a religious organisation in November 1991, founding a Biblical college and Sunday school in 1996. However, following inspections of the Biblical Centre in April and May 2007, the domestic courts ruled against the applicant organisation in two sets of administrative proceedings for allowing the Centre to conduct educational activities without authorisation and for violating sanitary rules and hygienic requirements. On that basis, the Supreme Court upheld the prosecuting authorities’ claim to dissolve the applicant organisation in August 2007 and, following the dismissal of the organisation’s appeal in October 2007, it was dissolved with immediate effect.
Relying in particular on Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience, and religion), interpreted in the light of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), the applicant organisation complain about the decision on its dissolution and the ensuing restriction on its right to teach its followers.
Press release ECHR 155 (2014) 04/06/2014