Since the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church has been trying to regain moral authority in Russian society. This authority is challenged by international human-rights norms, and the Moscow Patriarchate has shown a desire to be perceived as a serious player in the human-rights arena. Emblematic of this active approach is the official representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the institutions of the Council of Europe, including the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. This article seeks to analyze the ways in which the Moscow Patriarchate has approached the European Court of Human Rights since the 1990s. This includes cases with direct or indirect involvement of the Patriarchate, primarily concerning alleged religious discrimination and, on the other hand, an attempt to influence the discourse surrounding ethical and moral issues.
See for example“Mitropolit Kirill: Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov’ budet otstaivat’ traditsionnye tsennosti v otkrytoi zapadu Rossii”Nezavisimaia gazeta(5 June 1993). See also Patriarkh Aleksii IITserkov’ i dukhovnoe vozrozhdenie Rossii. Slova rechi poslaniia obrashcheniia 1990–1998 (Moskovskii Patriarkhii Moscow 1999) passim.