It was impossible not to be shocked by the report that Alexander Lebed had vowed to ban certain religious groups from Russia, saying that Russia had three officially recognised religions: 'Orthodoxy (meaning, presumably, the Russian Orthodox Church), Islam, and Buddhism', and thereby implying that believers not coming under those three headings are going to have problems.
In the Soviet Union there were also significant numbers of Jews, Roman Catholics, and Lutherans and other Christians, all of whom were subjected to varying degrees of harassment. We had hoped that the days of persecution were now over, but Mr Lebed's reported statement makes us wonder.
Could the Russian representative in Hong Kong throw light on the Russian Government's true intentions? There are people in Hong Kong who have friends, relatives, or co-religionists in Russia, and accordingly an authoritative statement would be welcome.
JOVITA O. LEONO Trustee United Migrant Workers Interim Trust