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Orthodox Volunteers Will Patrol Moscow
22.08.2012 16:00
Orthodox Volunteers Will Patrol Moscow
Pskov Cathedral graffiti: "Down with religious obscurantism" (Source:

Ivan Otrakovsky, the head of the "Holy Rus" Orthodox group, has announced the creation of mobile civic police forces to patrol the streets of Moscow, especially in the evening. 

      The move coincides with several instances of graffiti being drawn on the facades of the Orthodox churches in Russia, particularly in Pskov, on the day and after the sentencing of Pussy Riot. St. George Marine Cathedral in Kaliningrad was also covered in graffiti, and the cathedral's door was set on fire. The opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church that a 2-year prison sentence is justified may provoke the acts of violence against the Orthodox clergy. 

      Currently 7 Orthodox voluntary police groups patrol Moscow for instances of blasphemy and religious hatred. In the event of seeing such act being committed the volunteers are advised to stop the offender and make him stay until the real police arrive. Should the offender try and make a runner, the volunteers may hold them by the arms. 

      Otrakovsky appeals to create such groups throughout Russia. Meanwhile, the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church also plans to report on the necessity to enforce the security of the Orthodox religious sites. He hopes the report will be positively accepted and put into action by the Holy Synod. 

      It should be noted that Moscow City government objected to the Orthodox patrolling stating that Moscow is a multicultural city inhabited by people of different confessions. The famous human rights campaigner and the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva also spoke up against "confessional" patrols, saying that in such case there must be Atheist patrols, too, as atheists may also want protection.

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian society Russian religion Russian Orthodox Church Russian police  

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