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Bush promised to raise religious freedom issue during Russian summit

US President George W. Bush promised the leader of Russia's embattled Catholic minority to take up the issue of anti-Catholic discrimination with Russian leader Vladimir Putin during a four-day summit.

In a short, unscheduled, private meeting at the US ambassador's house last Friday, Bush asked Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Moscow how the church was faring in Russia, where believers in recent months have weathered anti-Vatican demonstrations in more than a dozen cities as well as the loss of a bishop and a priest expelled by the government.

"The president was very worried about the situation of the Catholic Church in particular, and in general with the situation of religious freedom in Russia," Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said in a telephone interview shortly after the meeting.


30 May 2002