RESPECT FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM—FOR ALL

AN INDIVIDUAL'S RELATIONSHIP with God is just that: individual, primary, and private. So when restrictions on individual worship occur, it's only right to question them. But history has proved that the struggle for religious freedom isn't exactly an easy road.

A case in point is found in a recent news article detailing then Russian President Vladimir V. Putin's sanction of the Russian Orthodox Church as Russia's national church (Clifford J. Levy, "At Expense of All Others, Putin Picks a Church," The New York Times, April 24, 2008). The article notes that other denominations are routinely harassed by police, their activities limited or prohibited—essentially forcing them out of existence—while the Orthodox Church enjoys almost total acceptance.

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