MOSCOW, July 24 - RAPSI. The Consumer Rights Protection Society has asked the prosecutor's office and the Moscow real estate inspectorate to audit the Christ the Savior Cathedral Fund's application of city subsidies, the organization told the Russian Legal Information Agency on Tuesday.
The organization also wants the inspectorate check whether the Patriarchate of Moscow has been exempted from profit tax and lawfully omitted from including in its tax statements proceeds from the sale of religious items, jewelry, souvenirs and other consumer goods.
On July 10, Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court rejected the organization's motion to ban trading and the rendering of services on cathedral grounds. The claimants maintain that trade inside the cathedral is against the law.
The Russian Orthodox Church said it does not own the cathedral, but only rents the property.
According to the organization, its inspection found that the cathedral allegedly runs a car wash, a tire shop, a car repair service, a parking meter zone, a canteen, a laundry, and stalls and pavilions selling jewelry, souvenirs, homeware, fabrics and other goods. In addition, some areas inside the cathedral are leased for banquets and parties.
The organization maintains that these activities should be regulated by public law and claims that the cathedral actually runs a business center on its grounds. However, no information has been provided as of yet about its owner's name or location.