Russian Orthodox Church holds mass prayer to ward off “persecutors”

 
 
At least 40,000 people attented a mass prayer outside Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Sunday to hear the head of the Russian Orthodox Church tell them they were “under attack by persecutors.”
 
Sacred Orthodox objects that had recently been desecrated were brought out in front of the cathedral for all to see. The mass prayer was called in response to a series of acts of vandalism, which church leaders say have multiplied since February when Pussy Riot, a women’s punk band, held a musical protest next to the cathedral’s main altar, which is reserved for priests only.
 
Sunday's mass prayer in front of Moscow's Christ the Saviour Cathedral.
 
Three women alleged to be members of Pussy Riot (all the women wore face masks during their performance) have been arrested and face up to seven years in jail. The song they performed (watch here) criticised President Vladimir Putin as well as the Orthodox church’s leader, Patriarch Kirill. The incident has divided the church: Patriarch Kirill calls for tough punishment of the women, while other members of the clergy are asking for leniency.
 
Church leaders have described Pussy Riot’s act as opening the floodgates for a series of anti-clerical acts of vandalism across the country. On March 6, a man took an axe to icons in a church in Veliky Ustyug, near Moscow. Then, two weeks later, a man desecrated a crucifix with a knife and beat up a priest in a church in Nevinnomyssk, in southern Russia.
 
Patriarch Kirill and other top church officials have recently come under fire for their lavish spending and close ties with the government. Kirill, who owns a luxury watch, was criticised by bloggers who said the watch had been airbrushed out of a photograph of him.
 
Churches across the country responded to the Orthodox Church leaders' call for a national day of prayer. This video shows congregants praying outside a church in the city of Tomsk, in southern Russia.
Contributors

Comments

Russian Orthodox Church

Sounds like Kirill is the lapdog of Putin and his cronies. Time for him to be defrocked and turned out to pature. Time to bring an independent leader to the Church. Whatever happened to humility and selfless work on behalf of the church and the congregation? Expensive watches and lavish living do not represent this at all!

Close