Children as religious rights-holders?: Perovy

To what extent do children have independent religious rights? That question recently came before the ECtHR – and received a rather equivocal reply.


In Perovy v Russia 47429/09 [2020] ECHR 742, the first and second applicants were the mother and father of the third applicant, now an adult. The father was a priest of the Church of the Community of Christ. When their son was aged seven he started school. On his first full day, on 3 September 2007, an Orthodox priest conducted a rite of blessing in the classroom which had been arranged at a parent-teacher meeting at which the Perovys had not been present. The teacher told the priest that one of the children was of a different faith without disclosing the child’s identity, and the priest said that the boy could just be present during the rite. Some of the children and adults made the sign of the cross and the priest invited the children to kiss a crucifix. The third applicant did neither [10-13]. Continue reading