Churches and other faith-based communities have taken the lead in the human rights sector in Russia. At a time when many secular activists have been harassed, imprisoned, forced into exile, and even murdered, interfaith partnerships working on civil rights for minorities and migrants have been tolerated and officially recognized. Part of a long history of civic–oriented religious activism, they benefit from their legacy as moral leaders. While some religious activists have publicly challenged the Russian state’s authority and values, most have been careful to present themselves as partners of the state, even if their beliefs are not always fully aligned.

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