Cultological Culture

English mirror of Russian-European cultural media, including cults in Art, Entertainment, People, Cultology and more ...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Pavlik Morozov regarded as a saint in the Urals, May 21, 2004
Television coverage on state channel RTR, which investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Stalinist era hero Pavlik Morozov, told about the cult of the N1 pioneer of the Soviet Union. In hidden places in the fence by the grave of Stalinist era cult hero Pavlik Morozov, children and teenagers, both local and those who are visiting the village of Gerasimovka, leave notes.
These notes often contain requests for help with exams and getting into college. The broadcast gave special emphasis to the fact that the Orthodox Church was not in the village of Gerasimovka, Tavdinsky district of Sverdlovsk province, either before the 1917 revolution, nor is it there now.
According to the Soviet canonical version of the story, the young Pavlik Morozov was killed by relatives after it was reported that his father hid grain from representatives of the government, which was conducting a forced confiscation of crop material, food products, agricultural inventory and livestock. Songs and verse about him were composed during the Soviet era, and a memorial was put up for him.
During the Perestroika era Pavlik Morozov turned from a hero to an ideological bugbear. His cult was debunked and his memorial brought down. At the same time, talking about Pavlik Morozov, it may not be out of place to recall the words of scholar M.L. Gasparova, "Do not forget that a monument would have also been put up for him in Ancient Rome."
As Regions.Ru has reported, funds from George Soros are being used to create a museum for collectivization in Pavlik Morozov's homeland. There have been no relatives of the pioneer-hero in the village of Gerasimovka for a long time.
As Portal "Credo.Ru" reported, the custom of leaving notes on the graves of saints in still wide-spread in a people's version of Russian Orthodoxy. From the 1950s to the 1980s, it was greatly popular for believers to make requests to Kseniya Peterburgskaya, who is buried in the Smolensk cemetery of Leningrad, who's been admired since the 19th century. Kseniya Peterburgskaya was canonized by the Moscow Patriarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988. The practice of leaving notes has been abandoned. Kseniya Peterburgskaya was not able to do anything about the repressive activities by the government in the Soviet era.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108548171637802279

Dmitriy Khvorostovskiy appearing on Red Square, "Echo Moscow," May 23, 2004
A real treat is in store for classical music lovers on 28 May, when star of the opera stage Dmitriy Khvorostovskiy will appear on Red Square. It will be broadcast live by "Rossiya" telecasters. During the concert admirers of the world renowned singer are expecting numerous surprises. The repertoire, says Khvorostovskiy, will not be quite the usual, but will include popular and love songs, as well as songs of the war era.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108548169316248955

Alexandr Dvorkin gave 5 lectures on sects in Nizhny Tur, Yekaterinburg, 26 March 2004.
Five lectures on the theme of "Totalitarian sects - threat of religious extremism" were given in Nizhny Tur by the chair of the sectology department of the Moscow St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, Alexandr Dvorkin, reported "Informatsionnoe agentstvo Yekaterinburgskoi eparkhii."
His audience included employees of the administrative apparatus, representatives of the local mass media, students of the geological research technical secondary school, and staff of the city's Department of Internal Affairs. The final evening, which included a discussion for any interested city resident, was held after working hours in the "Malakhit" cultural center.
It was no accident that Nizhny Tur was the object of attention for an Orthodox missionary; after all, this is the only population center on the canonical territory of the Yekaterinburg diocese in which a Jehovahs Witness temple is operating, and in which several other sects very actively pursue their operations. That is why that location, more so than any other, was so boldly drawn into the details of protecting the residents of the city from the influence and activities of sectarians. Those who most needed protection included those who had made no spiritual determination about themselves, and those not yet strong in their belief, such as young people and children. That was why so many city residents gathered that evening with the well-known sectologist and church advocate.
Professor Dvorkin conducted the discussion with regard for the size of the auditorium, the degree of training and the spiritual education of the audience. Journalists were interested in new documents, with developments in the process of exchanging experiences and contact with the clergy of different traditional denominations and their common assessment of sectarian activity.
Would this require a change to the existing state constitution? Would this action by the Orthodox Church activate a new Crusade against those of other faiths? Comprehensive answers were provided to these questions.
In a society with a great number of city dwellers, Alexandr Dvorkin appealed to people not to feel shy about displaying vigilance and a healthy distrust towards representatives of new religious movements and associations, towards what they said and what they promised. As the famous Russian proverb goes, "Cheese is free only in a mousetrap."
Can sects claim to be a charity? Neo-pentecostals, for example, have made rehabilitation centers for drug addicts and Krishnas feed hungry children. Is this good or bad? Alexandr Dvorkin answered the question with a question, "When the National Socialists built beautiful roads in Germany, was this good or bad? While the rehabilitation centers seem to help save people from dependence on chemicals, at the same time they made them dependent on the ideas being foisted upon them. So which is worse? Decide for yourself."
"As concerns feeding hungry children, the Orthodox Church feeds a significantly larger number of them, but does not broadcast this fact from every street corner. Krishnas convert everything either into a propaganda operation or, even worse and more dangerous, into a ritual act. They don't just give meals to people, but ritual food, without telling about this or asking if people will accept it."
Representatives of government agencies were also at hand to ask "specific" questions, such as, does the Orthodox Church require or expect from the government an amendment to the UK, which provides for assigning criminal responsibility with regard to those people who propagate a worldview different from that of the Orthodox Christian canon? To this the guest from Moscow succinctly replied, "We require the assignment of responsibility only to those people whose actions cause detriment to health and to the rights of others in society. Saying it graphically, "freedom to move my hand is limited by where someone else's face begins."

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108548166384492371

Friday, May 21, 2004

Slot machines off-limits to teens. Ufa, May 20, 2004, Svetlana Ivanova. Starting July, Ufimsky teens up to 18 are prohibited from visiting halls with gaming machines. This arrangement was introduced in the statute "On usage of halls for gaming machines on the territory of Ufa" by deputies of the city council, reported the city administration on Thursday.
According to the new provision, gaming salons need to be located no closer than 100 meters to kindergartens, schools and other educational institutions where youths younger than 18 years old are instructed.
Gaming machines are prohibited from being mounted in living quarters, kindergartens, schools, hospitals, government buildings, cult and religious establishments, stores, cafes, restaurants and underground passageways.
Establishment owners are obliged to provide them with protection by means of an emergency button that connects with the police.
There are nearly 2,500 gaming machines in Ufa. Since the beginning of the year five robberies have been committed in gaming halls, during which three guards were injured, and one was killed.
RIA "Novosti"

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108513668486872943

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Smoking areas suggested for schools. Moscow, May 19, 2004.
The Moscow fire department suggested that areas be established in Moscow schools where smokers can light up. According to "Echo Moscow" radio station, this proposal allegedly was made to a deputy of the Moscow city Duma. The fire department stressed that many seniors are confirmed smokers, and they frequently lit up in the most inappropriate places.
The teachers, however, believe that the suggestion about smoking in school will not be accepted. This was stated in a broadcast by radio station "Echo Moscow" by the principal of lycee-school number 109, distinguished teacher of Russia Eugene Yamburg. In Yamburg's opinion, this was "just another wave of idle talk, and it would not be accepted because parents and teachers were against it."
"Children smoke in schools, and the schools fight this. This is not news, but an old story," said the scholar. "That's how it's been, how it is and how it will be, for now society is not at total war with smokers and there is no cult of a healthy life style." According to him, a resolution to open a room for smokers would mean that the authorities were taking up the smokers' cause.
Besides that, in the scholar's opinion, the majority of fires in schools did not occur as a result of smoking. "Everything we hear and read says that the main reason for fires is inadequate wiring and ramshackle buildings," said Eugene Yamburg.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108504558299750736

Duma rejects proposal to restrict info on terrorist acts. Moscow, May 19, 2004.
The deputies of the Duma rejected an amendment to the law on the mass media informing the public about terrorist acts. The amendment proposed prohibiting the transmission by telecommunications channels of information about terrorist acts in process, with the exception only of that information which has been released by law enforcement agencies to ensure the security and execution of investigative-operative measures connected with the proceedings. In the opinion of the legislative proposal's author, much coverage from the site of a terrorist act, besides informing the public about the event in process, also creates an atmosphere of terror for the public, which would be the basic goal of the organizers and perpetrators of these acts.
Earlier the proposal got a negative review from a Duma profiling committee. It said that Russia already prescribed a ban on the mass media fulfilling a task in the execution of a criminal/illegal action, as well as for distribution of information that propagated cult violence and cruelty. Besides that, journalists and witnesses to an incident, such as a fire, an explosion, toxic waste spill, etc., could not possibly know whether it was a terrorist act or not. In practice this would mean a ban on reporting about any incident in the mass media, which would be a pointless restriction on the public's right to information, as well as a restriction on the activity of journalists.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108504554868663006

Mormon temple to be built. Saratov, May 19, 2004.
In downtown Saratov a private individual acquired a building complex at 65 Gorky St. with an overall area of 1,398 sq. meters. According to information from a reliable source, construction of a temple complex for the religious organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is planned for the site. Information about the purchase of the building complex has been indirectly corroborated in the city's administration.
This would be the third Mormon cult building in the region/oblast. The first is situated in the Leninsky district of Saratov on Tarkhova St. A temple complex in Engels also belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108504542568747472

Corner stone consecrated at veterans center. Novosibirsk, May 18, 2004.
A memorable event took place May 16 in the GSUSO Novosibirsk Veterans Home, the consecration of the cornerstone on the site of the planned construction of a church honoring the feast of the Epiphany. The consecration was performed by the archbishop of Novosibirsk and Berdskiy Tikhon in a service held by protopriest Boris Svinin of the central city district, protopriest Aleksandr Novopashin of the central regional district and superior of the church of St. Panteleimon, father Andrei Ivantsev.
At the religious procession after the Easter service, archbishop Tikhon gave his compliments to the veterans for Victory Day, handed over a memorial gift, and pupils of the Sunday school of Voznesensky cathedral put on a holiday concert.
Taking part in the ceremonial event were the management of the Veterans Home, representatives of the regional administration and the Peoples social defense department, which testifies to the active cooperation and constructive interaction between the various government agencies and structures with the Novosibirsk diocese in social services.
Rev. Andrei Ivantsev
Alexander Nevskiy Church
archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108504529696006723

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Konakovo - Informal Day celebrated
Etver.Ru, May 18, 2004
A little-known, but very original holiday that is already a tradition is Informal Day, which is regularly celebrated in the city of electical engineers on May 16. Those who recently joined in include those who remain true to the youthful sub-culture and those who shun any sort of formality in life and work.
This year Informal Day was preceded by a rock festival, which the Konakovsky recreational club "Perekrestok" held May 15 in the Vorvsky cultural center. Those who played in the concert included local groups "Otryv," "Sny," and "Serdtse". From the cult and informal cast of Konakovo characters were Stepa, Borisych?, and also the amazing Moscow group with the ironic name of "Typaya radost" ("Blunt joy"). The Muscuvites, in a professional digression from their program, brought down the house with the line of the evening - "But joy, it turns out, is not this blunt!" Really, the work of the above-mentioned group brought joy to the audience with their musical intellect, lyrical elegance and a hint of entertaining absurdity. Ruslan, the group's vocalist, changed the performance of the group into a theatrical show that charmed the audience in the hall.
On May 16 Informal Day opened with a friendly soccer match between the Konakovo team and the visitors. It is worthy of note that the Muscovites, who arrived at the concert in stylishly unwieldy footwear, hurried that morning to the Konakovsky market to buy athletic shoes. Because they had their guitar with them, the visitors to the market decided to improvise a concert. But the athletic shoes fell apart after the first period.
Besides that, the final score was 5:0, Konakovo. They tried for a re-match, but Konakovo took it again.
Then all the visitors to the festival waited for the improvised picnic and music. Beverages, shashlik and conversation. Among the participants of the univerally cheerful madness could be observed not only the guests from Moscow, but also creative intellectuals from Saint Petersburg and festival followers from Tvera. The Konakovites all accepted the tradition cordially.
Oksana Smirnova

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108496027562359235

Russia - items return to archeological museum
Yuga.Ru, May 18, 2004
Archeological exhibits are being returned to the Anapa archeological museum for its 95 year anniversary. The archeological finds were made in the resort city of Anapa from 1975 to 1992, and sent to Moscow for scientific processing, then they were preserved in the Russian science academy's Institute of Archeology. So Anapa has been waiting for many of these items for 25 years. All the objects are in one way or another connected with the cult of Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, who was idolized by the residents of Gorgippii, as Anapa was called in ancient times.
Items returned to the museum include a statuette of Aphrodite with her tiny offspring Eros, a bronze ring, beads of black amber, and even an ancient shell powder case with rose-colored grains of rouge on the bottom. This is almost inconceivable, nevertheless the rouge which the beauties of ancient Gorgippii ground from terra cotta or other natural material two thousand years ago has been preserved to the present day.
All the new entries are arranged in a separate exhibition. It is emphasized that this exhibit has never been seen before, so the residents and visitors to the resort city have the possibility of being the first to see it. Also, the museum is celebrating its anniversary in the beginning of June.
Source: "Zhemchuzhina Rossi" newspaper

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108496025151157298

Samara - Today is International Museum Day
Terratrk.Ru, May 18, 2004
In honor of International Museum Day, today all museums in the region are open free of charge. Today the Alabina regional studies museum put an operation into effect called "Samara museum to World Museum. Samara - Hiroshima." This year May 18th is held for children sick with leukemia. The Alabina Museum will show residents of Samara how to make cranes, which are a symbol of fortune and long life for the Japanese cult god of longevity. During the operation, all visitors to the museum's "Holiday Origami" exhibit can make the figures of their choice. A garland of thousands of cranes is being assembled and will be sent to Japan to the World Museum in the city of Hiroshima.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108496021986549620

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Kazakstan - memorials of ancient Mangistau Aktau
KazInform.Kz, May 17, 2004
Near the cliff of the Shakpak-ata mosque the "Caspiy: oil and culture" expedition slowed. It was the site of a film interview for a documentary by Murat Auezov. At the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies of the last century the mosque was examined by the well-known archeologist, historian and friend of the participants of the present expedition, Alan Medoev. Speaking about his role in uncovering the secrets of Mangyshlak were Murat Auezov, Gadilbek Shalakhmetov and Marat Sembi.
The cliff mosque of Shapak-ata is one of the puzzles of the peninsula. This is a unique cult establishment in Kazakstan, carved out of a cliff and well preserved to the present day. This mosque is in the shape of a Latin cross. The top of the central quarters is supported by four columns. Their shape is reminiscent of the Doric columns of ancient Greek temples. The walls of the mosque are covered with designs and writing in the Arab language. A repetitive design is that of the palm. In Murat Auezov's opinion, two heretical branches of Islam, Shiism and Sufism, can be traced here. It is thought that the mosque was built in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108488023027999905

Saint Petersburg - Kipelov rocks
Fontanka.Ru, May 17, 2004
It happened like bolt out of the blue. The guest book on the Internet page of the most popular Russian heavy group "Ariya" recorded the fanatical howl, "Wait! Don't go! Life will lose its meaning ..." But the musicians were unstoppable: in September 2002, after 17 years of sensational success and eight albums, "Ariya," after having reached true cult status, ceased to exist as a single creative unit. The group's members broke up into two parts and worked independently of each other. After the split on September 1, 2002, a large part of the musical group, specifically vocalist Valeriy Kipelov, guitarist Sergei Terentev and drummer Aleksandr Manyakin, made the decision to start their own project under the name of "Kipelov." Now the "Kipelov" group is presenting its new program in Saint Petersburg, and it is composed, to a large extent, of songs in the group's new album, which they plan to release at the end of this year. They will be at the DS Anniversary.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108488020848232745

Kaluga - church not returned to diocese
Regnum.Ru, May 17, 2004
In accordance with a request from the leadership of the previous Kaluga regional committee of state property, the deputies examined the question about the transfer of a cult building, the Church of the Virgin Christmas, which is on the square, to the Kaluga Diocese.
The deputies put their attention on the fact that the diocese had already appealed to the city Duma with this request in 2003. As an IA Regnum correspondent reported, back then a resolution was passed at a committee session to postpone examination of this issue until such time as the Kaluga diocese had produced all the documents as evidence that the Church of the Virgin Christmas, which has been designated a historical building, used to belong to them. As of this time, however, the diocese has not produced such documents.
Besides that, the basic charter of the municipal constitution of the "City of Kaluga" does not cover historical buildings and cultural estrangement. Using all this as a basis, the committee member again turned down the application to transfer the church on the square to the Kaluga Diocese.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108488017074229817

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Irkutsk - the cult of criminal romantics
Babr.Ru, May 15, 2004
Sentencing in the Oktyabrysk district court of Irkutsk. A 17-year-old student on the bench of the accused. At his age the guy has never heard about SIZO. He's been under arrest for nearly a month. Igor Kolegov has been accused of extortion. According to the evidence, on the eighth of February of last year he took 50 rubles from his classmate, Artem Salovarov. Over several days a hundred more.
Artem Salvarov, victim: "First he just kept the money. Then he said he would not give it back. Then he said that 'I need more. If you don't pay, then you will pay with your health.'"
Igor Kolegov told Artem that the money he kept for him was not a freebie and for this so-called investment he would get back 1,500 rubles. He reinforced his demands with threats. When Artem did not give him money, after several days Kolegov proceeded from word to deed - he struck the victim several times near the school. Artem's father saw the marks from the blows and brought his son straight to the police. An officer marked the money. After passing the bills the young extortioner was handcuffed. As it came out at the time of the investigation, Kolegov plied this trade professionally.
Eugenia Shipitsyna, Oktybrysk district court judge: "The boy came here from the village of Novy Igirm and according to testimony from the police there he extorted money there, too. In that testimony it was noticed that for a small period of time he owed the entire school."
The defendant's parents were entirely pleasant and well-to-do people. At the time of the court investigation they did not attend the proceedings. According to the judge, Kolegov at the beginning of the investigation behaved impudently enough. He gave his reasons exclusively in jargon, many phrases were not immediately understandable to the participants of the proceedings. He did not recognize his guilt. Enveloped with criminal romanticism the teenager was even proud before his peers of being under arrest. At the beginning of April he did not appear in court for a regular session. He became a wanted man. Before long he found himself in custody.
What kind of effect did SIZO have? How do you describe it to someone who's never been there?
Igor Kolegov: "You wouldn't even want to wish it upon your enemies."
After his arrest, Igor regretted his perfect crime and confessed to everything. Taking this circumstance into account and the age of the accused, the court arranged for four years confinement, suspended. However, before Kolegov was released the judge gave the teenager a warning.
Eugenia Shipitsyna, Oktyabrysk district court judge: "You want to take the path of crime, for God's sake. I'm telling you the path to prison is open for you. You see now it is very easy for you to get into prison. Getting out of there as a normal person is practically impossible. And remember, Kolegov, you're the one who talks about the fine criminals of the world, but none of them wants to be in prison."
Igor Kolegov assured us that he would continue his studies. If the teenager does not break the law, then after two years the probation will be removed.
Pavel Romanov
archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470237933861405

Lipetssky Oblast - traces of ancient Slavs discovered
Regnum.Ru, May 14, 2004
Archeologists have come upon traces of a large ancient settlement of Slavs on the shores of the Sosna River in the Yeletsky district of Lipetssky province, reported the STV-7 telecommunications company. In the course of excavations they made an interesting find: material from the Bronze Age, fragments of shaped vessels of a city-dweller's culture, along with a unique woman's adornment, an amulet of the sun cult.
The find was made during a study by specialists of the department of domestic history at the Lipetssky state pedagogic university (LGPU). According to one of the hypotheses, the settlement was a forerunner of today's Yelets.
In that and neighboring districts there are more than 90 archeological monuments, ranging from the 5th to 3rd centuries BC of a city culture, to the ancient Russian memorials of the 12th-14th centuries, whose historical authenticity have been verified in written sources about Yelets, one of the LGPU members told an IA Regnum correspondent.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470207555139462

Japan - Candy labels affect purchasers and ministers
Lenta.Ru, May 14, 2004
Ministers from the largest Buddhist temple in Japan strive for a ban on the sale of candy under the name of "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha," wrote the Daily Telegraph. On the candy wrapping is an image of Buddha calmly picking his nose. Cult ministers have been refused registration of this trade mark with the patent office. Now they are trying to forbid the sale of the candy in the ancient capital of Nara, which is famous for ancient temples and statues of Buddha, and is a big tourist attraction. The ministers believe that the appearance of this brand is insulting the the practice of Buddhism.
Among the companies that produce this delicacy of questionable taste is Yamamoto Bussan, which has been making it for three years. In their opinion, the name of the candy has to have an effect on the purchaser. For instance, they sell a candy of a different type under the name of "Deer turds." A company representative said that if there was doubt as to the correctness of the name, they could add the suffix -sama to Buddha to show a higher degree of respect.
The local media presume that such a brand would emerge and become popular because residents of western Japan, where Nara is located, prefer primitive humor.
The Daily Telegraph noted that the majority of Japanese are not adherents of any particular religious current. Usually they are married in a Christian ceremony, buried as Buddhists, but love to participate in Shinto holidays. The state religions in Japan are Shintoism and Buddhism.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470204534850381

Nizhny Novgorod - Islamic cultural center to be built
NTA.Ru, May 14, 2004
An Islamic cultural center will be built in Nizhny Novgorod in a complex with a mosque and medrese on Sennoi St. This was reported by the Islamic informational channel.
The plot of city land for construction of the cultural center was given to the Spiritual administration of Muslims of Nizhny Novgorod and Nizhegorodsky Oblast by a decision of the investment commission for the city administration. At its center will be an office of the national Islamic organizations, halls for conferences, trade halls, a cafe and restaurants - (licensed for Muslim food) and much else of interest.
According to information from the Islamic informational channel, they already came to an understanding with Nizhegorodsky Oblast governor Gennadiy Khodyrevy and the management of the city railroad about rendering sponsorial assistance at the initial stages of the center's construction. Preparatory work on coordination of the construction for the Islamic center with the general building plan of Nizhny Novgorod has already been done.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470201269493712

Tyumen - Easter scandal spurs amendment to law "on meetings"
NewsProm.Ru, May 14, 2004
The consultative council of the main Protestant Churches in Russia, whose members are the leaders of the Evangelical Christian-Baptists, the Evangelical-Pentecostals and the Seventh Day Adventists, presented the State Duma's committee for social associations and religious organizations with a proposed amendment to the law "On assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches, and pickets."
As was told to a correspondent of the "NewsProm.Ru" Internet publication in the Slavyansky legal center, one of the reasons for the proposed amendment was the scandal surrounding the Easter service that occurred in Tyumen in the middle of April with the British preacher David Hasavay. [sp?]
As a reminder, the sports center administration, where the festivities were originally planned for the important Christian holiday, broke the leasing contract and called off the event, citing a warning about a risk of a "diversion" that it had received from the main department of internal affairs of Tyumen Oblast. The Easter festivities were subsequently rescheduled for the premises of the "Light for the world" church.
The bus bringing people to listen to David Hasavay's sermon was met at the church by picketers from a number of social and Orthodox organizations of Tyumen. They called upon their townsmen not to host the preacher's visit and expressed their protest against Hasavay's visit to Tyumen. The second day the divine service was canceled due to a bomb scare.
As was reported in the Slavyan legal center, right after the scandal around David Hasavay's sermon, the regional department of the Justice Ministry started a review of the activities of the Tyumen Evangelical "Light for the world" church, which included a tax review.
This was the situation that prompted the council of the main Protestant churches of Russia to approach the Russian parliament with their amendment to the law "On meetings." As the Slavyan legal center reported, the observations of the leaders of the Protestant churches greatly differed from the amendment Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma in the first session, practically right after the legislation was passed.
For instance, the president proposed including in the text of the law a point about prohibiting public gatherings near cult buildings and establishments. The Protestants thought it necessary to retain the given point revised as: "The sites, regarded as prohibited for carrying out public gatherings, include ... land in the immediate proximity to the cult building and other sites that the religious organization has at its disposal for carrying out divine services on its allocated land, cemeteries and pilgrimage sites."
The document prepared by the main Protestant churches of Russia says that the "lack of legal defense against aggressive picketing on the part of extremist groups - skinheads, nationalists, etc. - will promote escalation of religious intolerance - right to the point of breaking up divine service and physical violence toward the believing citizens of Protestant faith."
The consultative committee also proposed a clause be included in the legislative amendment, in accordance with which the carrying out of cult public events would be regulated by the law "On freedom of conscience and religious associations."
Putting this on the same level as social-political actions, which are regulated by the law on meetings, the Evangelists consider it incorrect "in the effect of its purpose and climate, which are distinct in principle."

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470197445857330

Yekabpilsk - former prime minister a nature fan
Blagovest-Info, as reported by
St. Alexandr Nevskiy church, May 14, 2004
Former Latvian prime minister Ainar Repshe, who in addition to being a political figure also admires art, showed his work in the Yekabpilsk Lutheran church of St. Michael.
According to the parishioners, the exhibit of pictures of the well-known politician were very conducive to attendance at the church and enjoyed great public interest.
It is worthy of note that the pictures on display in church were not of a religious character. The majority of them portrayed nude women.
However, Pastor Modris Plate also believes that there is nothing blasphemous about the exhibit, in so far as God created people nude.
Some parishioners, though, were not entirely pleased with the proximity of nude women. The pastor explained to them that the church also had paintings with nudes.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108470194171052445

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Sakhalinsk Oblast - Rock group "Detonator" releases CD
Regions.Ru, May 13, 2004
The release of the first digital anthology of the best musical compositions of the legendary island rock group "Detonator" came about as a result of a joint effort between the regional oblast government and "Sakhalinsky Rock," a young people's social organization. As was reported in the regional department of youth politics, the presentation of the compact disk will take place May 15 at 6 p.m. in the "Rodina" cultural center in South Sakhalinsk. Besides "Detonator," taking part in the concert will be the Nevelsky rock group "Oushi sprei," "Hotel brick," and "Spiritual balance." The compact disk contains eight new compositions, in whose creation participated Dmitriy Donski, who died tragically in an aviation catastrophe on Kamchatka.
According to "Detonator" leader Roman Shalnov, the Sakhalinsk rock movement has come out of the garage. "We have a real possibility of regularly taking part in Far East rock concerts and festivals," said Detonator's leader, "on top of that, today with the support of the regional government we are already working on a second collection of 'Sakhalinsky Rock,' and in October in Sakhalin there will be a far eastern rock festival."
As a reminder, back in 2003 the department of youth politics and island rock groups signed an agreement about the joint venture. The results of joint operations so far have been: registration of the "Sakhalinsky Rock" youth organization, the release of the first collection of songs by the "Sakhalinsky Rock" group, and a tour of the Sakhalisnky rock group to the Far East. By tradition, in Sakhalin the far east rock festival takes place in the fall in memory of Dmitriy Donsky and the "Victory for us" rock concert.
On May 17th the groups "Detonator" and "Express" set out for a week's tour through the Far East. The Sakhalin musicians will give several concerts in the Primorsk district. And in the Khabarovsk district "Detonator" and "Express," at the invitation of the organizers, are joining the ranks of cult groups in the Far East of Russia for the far east festival.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108461526032927174

Kamchatka - dog bites camera team
Regnum.Ru, May 13, 2004
On May 13 a camera team from a Kamchatka television station experienced at attack from a vicious dog. The incident occurred at noon not far from the "Petropavlovsk" hotel, near which a cult building is being rapidly erected for the Kamchatka Church of Full Gospel. The canine nipped the operator but seriously injured the journalist's leg. The leg was anaesthetized and the wound stitched up.
The television team arrived with the goal of obtaining footage about the construction of the church. There was no sign that said an attack dog was on the premises. All the necessary information and documents were gathered at the site of the journalist's injury, and she plans to make a report to the police, reported the "Vechernie Vesti Petropavlovska" evening news.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108461510093952556

Friday, May 14, 2004

Russia - Leading rabbi suggests restricting cult activity
Religio.Ru, April 28, 2004
Leading Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar (Federation of the Jewish Community of Russia) proposed passing a federal law forbidding cult activity.
"According to our information, over a million Russians are in various cults today. This is a great threat whose bad results we should not await, resolute action is needed with the understanding that such sects are not essential for us," said B. Lazar in an interview with Interfax.
In the Rabbi's opinion, there needs to be a standard law prohibiting sect activity, which would say, among other things, what kind of religious organizations represent sects, and which represent many centuries of tradition." For his part B. Lazar noted that the Federation of the Jewish community of Russia was ready to participate in the drafting of this sort of legislation.
"Unfortunately," lamented the head rabbi, "the authorities are not always aware that the consequences of what they do can encourage sectarians, such as the construction of their over-sized temples." In this connection he recalled the tragic experience in South America, the site of a mass suicide for one cult, which included children.
In B. Lazar's opinion, people are always moving toward some ideology, a system of values. "Today this vacuum is especially acute, and if it continues, it can be filled by thieves who use money and power," the Rabbi warned, noting that those who were born in an atheistic era do not always distinguish a regular religion from a sect, so when sects promise material and spiritual assistance, many people start to believe them.
In particular, according to B. Lazar, the Jewish community center at Marini Roshchi had many people approached by sectarians who promised direct entrance into Eden in exchange for transferring titles to their apartments.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#10845273314580270

Rostov - the fight with sects
Yaroslavl.Ru, May 11, 2004
Non-traditional religious organizations are increasing their operations in the provinces. A doctor of theology, professor Aleksandr Dvorkin is holding lectures on the topic of sectarianism with the residents of the city. Dvorkin is having similar meeting throughout Russia and in neighboring countries. The professor articulated the goal of his visit to Yaroslav Oblast this way: several dangerous sects have become more active in Rostov. This is something that should be discussed. Questions and complaints arise and how to answer them is why I'm here.
Sects suppress and break human will, they take away money, cars, apartments and make slaves. Sects lure people in with deceit and inadequate information, Dvorkin believes, so for greater objectivity and clarity he supports the material in his talks with documentary videos. Although several years ago sectarianism was a priority in big cities, with each passing year it has been steadily creeping into the provinces.
The talk about sectarianism began with an Orthodox hymn. The majority of those present in the auditorium were students. This was not surprising at all: it's easy for sectarians to catch youngsters who have not yet fully developed. The teachers at Dmitrianovsky school ran into this problem when they had occasion to teach sectarian children. So they went to the meeting not only to find out something useful for themselves, but also how to dialogue with students about sectarian risks and how to warn them.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108452730106540531

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Samara - conference on Science and Culture in Russia
Samara.Ru, May 12, 2004
Today and tomorrow the Samar state communications methods academy (SamGAPS) is holding a scientific-practical conference on "Science and Culture of Russia." Its organizers include the administration of Samara, the Samar professors union, Samar state pedagogic university and the Union of young academics of Samara. Participating in the opening of the conference are Samara and Syzransky Archbishop Sergei, and the president of the Samar governor's Duma, Viktor Sazonov. Appearing before those assemble will be the mens choir of the Samar Orthodox spiritual seminary and the students choir of the communications methods academy.
The basic themes of the conference are: linguistics, Russian language and literature, the philosophy of science and culture, history and modern times, domestic history and the history of the Russian culture, and theology.
The plenary sessions and sections are examining the topicality of the familiarity of the students of the higher schools with the history and basic principles that function behind the scenes in modern society, totalitarian sects and destructive cults, and also distinctive Slavic cultural-historical features. They will separately examine the topicality of theology as a subject of the higher schools and the prospect of teaching it.
The scope of the conference also contains a series of thematic exhibits by the Artists Union of Samara, and the artistic work of academy students and staff.
Klim Enotov

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108444299044306958

Rostov Oblast - musician's home becomes popular sight
Regions.Ru, May 11, 2004
The home of the soloist in the "Zveri" group has become a cult site in Taganrog. The "Zveri" group has already hit the top of the music charts this year. Its music is recognized in many corners of Russia, including Rostov Oblast, where its soloist, Rom Bilyk, comes from.
Building N48 on Frunze Street is now a cult site in Taganrog, reports Don-TR. On door 13, a child's handwriting marks the star's apartment. On a usual work day nobody is home. On site are only the neighbors who, as usual, all know him and were the first ones to get an autograph of the star they used to know so well but who has since not been around that much.
It's easy to find well-known Taganrozhite's mom in the city. She works as a sales lady at the "Nyam-Nyam" shop. Among the selection of pastry and soft drinks is a portrait of her son. Svetlana Borisovna Bilyk now rarely sees him, only to visit. The group is at the height of popularity among young people. Svetlana Bilyk secretly hopes that someday her celebrated son will return to Taganrog so he can be close. But he feels that so far he still does not have a personal life.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108444295002960922

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Moscow - Government invests in libraries
Utro.Ru, May 11, 2004, RBK
The Moscow government has approved a special integrated program to develop the public libraries of the capital city as informational intellect centers. As Moscow culture committee chairman Sergei Khudyakov stated, the volume of financial expense of the program in the current year is 85.8 million ruble, of which 40 million is slated for the city prefecture and 45.8 million rubles for the capital cultural committee. For the period 2004-2006, it is planned that 484 million rubles will be spent on the program.
archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108435841661666396

Iraq - Abu-Ghraib prison blues
Rusedina.Org, May 11, 2004
A scandal broke out in early May in the USA and Great Britain when the mistreatment and torture by American and British military of captives imprisoned in Iraq made news headlines in world politics. This involuntarily brought to mind one epigram, the authorship of which is ascribed to a popular actor and author of many caustic epigrams, Valentine Haft. Offended by some leading doctor in the sanitarium, Haft composed the scathing line: "The faces of the SS and of the executioners were hidden under the guise of leading doctors ..." Only in this case the faces of the executioners were hidden under the guise of American and English soldier-liberators.
Why the scandalous photographs of the pastime chosen by the soldiers on duty in the Abu Ghraib prison of Baghdad and soldiers from the 372nd company of the 800th brigade of military police of the US armed forces, which occurred back in the fall of last year, all of a sudden showed up on the front pages of a number of large western newspapers, is not at all clear. There is a suspicion that the leak occurred due to the election campaign going on now in the USA, and it was arranged by opponents of the current president. In the alternative case the world would possibly still not know about the misguided jokes of the American liberators in Iraq. Similar photographs of British soldiers have appeared in the press, apparently to keep them company.
The administration of George Bush, and afterwards the government of Tony Blair, were long ago forced to justify, excuse and dodge in every which way the heavy criticism from their parliaments, press and various human rights organizations. The more painful blow was received by George Bush, whose electoral ratings leave much to be desired. After the scandal with the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the thesis that the USA was offering Iraq freedom from inhumane tyranny was the main justification for the whole idea behind the occupation of Iraq. Now this thesis has been compromised by Bush's own soldiers, who proved to be no better than Himmler's Gestapo or the executioners of Saddam's guard. By the way, they also liked to be photographed.
Particularly offensive for the president of the USA was the fact that his friend and comrade-in-arms, Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, was implicated in this unpleasantness. As it turned out, he simply hid from his boss the ticklish facts about the Abu Ghraib prison, which, in the official version, he knew about back in January. According to a statement from Bush himself, he learned about his soldiers' deeds in Iraq on the television. However, the president did not wish to give in to the insistent demands by many senators, congresspersons and the press to dismiss Rumsfeld, saying that the defense minister was too valuable a member of his command who had done his job splendidly.
The blow to Bush and to the entire international prestige of the USA, particularly in the Arab world, with regard to the scandalous exposure of the actions of the American military in Iraq, proved to be really shattering. Senator John Warner on the special hearing, for instance, said that the scandal surrounding the torture of the prisoners in Iraq inflicted irreparable harm on the international politics of the United States. Even the president himself was forced to admit that the scandal around Abu Ghraib prison had a horrible effect on the situation of Americans in the Near East. The head of the civil administration in Iraq, Paul Bremer, also recognized that malicious treatment of prisoners did great harm to the reputation of the US military in this country.
The photographs in all the newspapers and televisions of world, in which American soldiers proudly pose with naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated in the background, like the name of Abu Ghraib prison itself, have become a symbol of the insulting and amoral occupation of Iraq. But the military police woman Lindie England, who posed in front of a subject holding a dog leash attached to an Iraqi prisoner, got a name for herself in the press as the "anti-Jessica Lynch" (who, as is well-known, became an official hero of the Iraq war in the USA).
Naturally, the US administration has taken all possible steps to neutralize the effect of the negative information about the scandal in the Abu Ghraib prison. The main line of defense taken by the Bush administration, and then, following his example, by British prime minister Tony Blair, was that the anti-American behavior of individuals in the military in Iraq were isolated, atypical incidents that have nothing in common with the true values of America or the behavior of the US military. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of the US Armed Forces, General Richard Mayers, and the official chairman of the US Armed Forces command in Iraq, General Mark Kimmit, also stepped forward with statements that such cases were the misdeeds of a few solders and not characteristic of the entire American army on the whole.
The president himself, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice publicly offered deep apologies to the prison victims and their families, have asked their forgiveness, and also have promised to conduct thorough investigations and to harshly punish all the guilty parties. Bush and Rice even made special appearances on Arab-language television stations with explanations and apologies. They arrested one of the military police that appeared in one of the photographs, who was linked to the offices of a colonel and a general; they created a special commission of inquiry, etc.
The commander of the US armed forces, after the scandal in the Abu Ghraib prison, was forced to admit that it investigated more than 20 cases of possible mistreatment by America soldiers of Afghan and Iraqi prisoners, and also a number of cases of unjustified killings of captives in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Britain an inquiry is also being conducted into accusations of British soldiers maltreating Iraqi captives.
However, all attempts by Washington and London to more quickly hush up the scandal proved to be not too successful. There are many critics of the George Bush administration, including his rival in the upcoming presidential election, Senator John Kerry, who continue to harshly condemn the policies of the present head of the White House and who demand punishment for anyone who took part in keeping secret from congress and from the public information about the gross violations of human rights in Iraqi prisons.
Representatives from the International Red Cross committee have stated that it has called upon the United States repeatedly to take appropriate measures in the Abu Ghraib prison, although these calls were simply ignored. The former minister of human rights assigned by the Americans for the Iraq administration, Abdel Basset Turki, told French mass media that back in November of last year the question about mistreatment was raised in a discussion with the head of the occupation administration, Paul Bremer. He listened, but didn't answer, the former Iraqi minister said of Bremer.
The fact of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq has caused great indignation around the world. In this connection the Russian foreign affairs ministry said that the question about torturing the prisoners in Iraq needed examination by a UN commission on Human Rights. In the words of RF deputy foreign affairs minister Yuri Fedotov, this torture was in direct violation of human rights and complicated things even more for the ordinary Iraqis suffering under a foreign occupation.
Many independent observers have noted that President Bush and US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are defending their own political careers, just do not want to make a mess of their office, and recognize that the behavior toward the war prisoners in Iraq is not the exception, but has been part of a practice prevalent in the US army since at least Vietnam. As is well-known, the American management always categorically refuses to agree to subject its military to an international court for war crimes. Cultivation in American troops of a contempt for the lives of non-Americans, disrespect and contempt for the population of the countries it liberates, a cult of violence, impunity and a lack of real discipline all have a direct impact on the formation of the moral make-up of the American military.
With regard to those incidents in Abu Ghraib prison, there are witnesses to the torture and mistreatment within the ranks of the military police who say they were encouraged by the upper echelons. Lawyers for the military police who were arrested said that, according to their defendants, the process of mistreatment and torture of captives in the prison was under control of military intelligence and of the government structure, which included the CIA, and the military police were just doing their bidding.
Why they had their pastime being photographed and whether it was to exert psychological pressure on captives is still under investigation. A certain Sabrina Harman, who served as a guard in the Abu Ghraib prison, who has also been accused of mistreating the prisoners, told the Washington Post that the military police in the prison were fulfilling their mission to create a hell, so that the prisoners would talk.
In light of this, despite all the assertions by the representatives of the US administration that the confusion in Abu Ghraib prison did not represent a true reflection of America, despite all the apologies and the promises that henceforward members of the Armed Forced would be properly instructed in correct behavior with regard to military captives and would comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention, there are few now who can believe in Washington's sincerity.
And for many Iraqis, the photographs from Abu Ghraib prison have now become a symbol for the freedom, democracy and respect for human rights that they have been promised. Thanks to these photographs the Iraqi opposition will certainly grow in popularity, and the situation in Iraq will be far from normal for a long time.
Andrei Smirnov

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108435837248180279

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Khabarovsk - "Ussurian dragon" kite-flying festival
Regions.Ru, May 10, 2004
On the shores of the Amur in the park area of the Lenin SKA DVO stadium, the traditional "Ussurian dragon" kite-flying festival will be held from 22-29 May in Khabarovsk. As "Vostok-Media" RIA reported, the festival is in honor of the day of Khabarovsk's birth.
Visitors from China and Japan will be at the festival to demonstrate to residents the art of controlling the kites. Members of the Khabarovsk physical culture/athletics "Edelweiss" club from the district center will participate in the festival.
The "Ussurian dragon" program includes a contest that will accept nominations for best kite construction, expert execution of complex figure by kite pilot, along with appearances by musical and creative groups.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108427130481623658

Khabarovsk Krai - Culture management seminar
Regions.Ru, May 10, 2004
In Komsolsk-on-Amur, during the "Perspective of Room N6" festival, which was organized by the KiAM theater, a seminar on the management of culture was held. As RIA "Vostok-Media" reported, the leaders of the seminar - Svetlana Chaparina (of Tolyatti city, master from Aberdine University of Great Britain, specialist in management in the field of culture) and Vladimir Sorokin (of Samara, master of science from Robert Gordon University, Great Britain, project manager of the Samar regional historic-ethnographic museum) - rated the work and creative potential of seminar participants very highly.
"If the quality of real-life projects matches the planning and implementation of designs during the seminar, then we believe that Khabarovsk Krai has a good future," Chaparina and Sorokin summed things up.
The future will show the effectiveness achieved by the participants in the course of the seminar, one of which is planning to use the Internet as an aid to culture.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108427128719670477

Germany - Nazi book-burning: Day of remembrance
Deutsche Welle (russian), May 10, 2004
Beginning in 1947, Germany marked May 10th as a day of remembrance for the public burning of books by the National Socialists on the square in front of the opera theater, which today is Bebel Platz in Berlin.
Jewish sculptor Micha Ullman called upon Berlin politicians to abandon construction of an underground, 450-car garage under Bebel Platz. Ullmann is the author of a monument which was dedicated to this tragic event. The memorial is a void in the surface of the square eight meters deep with empty book shelves that is covered on top by a glass plate.
Construction of the garage has already been approved. As member of the Berlin Senate Peter Striler said, during construction the memorial will be preserved in his present state. However, Ullmann had misgivings about the basic atmosphere of the memorial being destroyed. According to him, the construction would obliterate the book-burning memorial and the consequences of this event. In Ullmann's own words, everybody still hoped that something would happen at the final moment so that the garage would not be built. One of the critics of the project was the head of the Berlin academy of art, Gyoergy Konrad. Bebel Platz square is surrounded with architectural monuments, such as the German state opera, Humboldt University and St. Hedwig church.
Spirituality and Culture - a natural base of relationships among people
With regard to the 71st anniversary of the book-burning, the German association of book-dealers reminds the public of the necessity to defend the right to the free expression of opinion. Association chief Dieter Schormann said in Frankfurt-am-Main that spirituality and culture form a natural base of relationships among people built on mutual respect. One of the important components of this relationship is the possibility to freely express one's opinion. In many parts of the world, however, it is still necessary to assert the right to freedom of speech, in so far as writers, translators, book publishers and book dealers run into significant barriers in plying their trades.
Insanity about which it's impossible to forget
On May 10, 1933, members of the National Socialist student union publicly set fire to approximately 20,000 books. In other university cities in Germany - Bonn, Frankfurt-am-Main and Munich - thousands of books were also burned. The National Socialists banned nearly 12,400 works, basically books by Jewish authors, but also compositions of Marxist or pacifist character. These included writings of 149 authors whose works were deemed by the authorities to contain "ideas alien to Germans." Some of the authors were Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, the essays of Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Stefan Zweig, Erich Kaestner and Sigmund Freud. (sg)

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108427124276267546

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Moscow - Victory Day, May 9, 1945
A. Nevskiy Cathedral, May 9, 2004
Glory and praise to God!
Peace in the country of the Russias and, thanks to the combined forces of the allied governments and military, peace in many countries ...
... God covered the insolent dreams of the thugs and cutthroats with shame, and we now see them now enduring formidable retribution for their villainy.
We confidently and patiently await this joyful day of the Lord, a day in which the pronouncement of the Lord of His righteous judgment over the villainy of the enemies of mankind, and of Orthodox Russia, after the unprecedented abuse, after the incredible efforts of all the people who stood as one person in defense of the Fatherland and put their own lives on the line for the sake of saving the Homeland, now stand in strength and prayer for the Lord, gratefully call on Him, as the source of victory and peace, for His divine help in time of need, for the joy of victory and for the gift of peace throughout the world.
But does victory carry only an awareness of joy? It also carries an awareness of responsibility, an awareness of duty, an awareness of responsibility for the present and the future, an awareness of need to intensify work to secure victory, and to make it effective in healing the wounds brought on by war.
A difficult matter still lies before many of us, but we now are able to breathe freely and joyfully take part in the toil, which is difficult but constructive.
If, during war time, in steadfast faith in the natural victory of a righteous matter we triumphantly overcame all difficulty, all deprivation and all the burdens on the front and in the rear, then with a strength equal to that we strive for the reconstruction of our cities, in which each person is a war hero; our dear and sacred memorials, everything that has been created by the mighty will and sovereign strength of our great people.
With reverence, recalling the feats of our valiant military and that of our friends and relatives, who lay down for our happiness a fleeting life in hope of eternity, we will never stop praying for them and in this will derive consolation in grief over the loss of brave hearts and strengthen our faith in the infinite mercy of God for those who have departed the world, and in the almighty help of God for us who are left to continue the earthly exploits and for improvement of life all over the world.
Yes prayer does improve us before the Lord, as heaven is above.
By holy prayer can one be brought beyond Russian soil to the throne of the Lord.
God of peace does continue to bless His people on earth and empower the leaders and governments of our world with the weapons of state wisdom and truth to conquer everything that is hostile to peace and to the good of our great Fatherland and the combined labor of the victorious people to establish such an order throughout the world that it would be impossible for the horrors of war to repeat themselves.
To our Holy Church in the person of its archpriests, priests and faithful children, I appeal to pray for peace to prosper in our country with such earnestness and ardour as they once did for victory over our enemies, and that this prayer will be just as well received before God.
Aleksiy I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, 9 May 1945

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108413480007258179

Kuban - Byzantine footprint discovered in Loo
Yuga.Ru, May 7, 2004
Recently the vast collection of monuments in the historical-cultural legacy of Kuban, which form the objects of a sight-seeing excursion, has been increased by yet another item. This is an old church in the community of Loo. The Byzantine church was built in the 9th century two kilometers from the sea and 200 meters up. This sort of cult structure originated in the vicinity of the Black Sea when it was part of the Byzantine empire.
A recent archeological find made it possible to ascertain what is fully contained in the perimeter of the church; the cupola rests on four identical columns, which are connected to the walls with an arched construction. The cross and cupola architecture uses local materials, sandstone and slate, and the surface of the exterior is preserved with tiles of processed limestone block.
A necropolis was discovered on the church property with thirteen graves of the Christian type. Among the finds of the archeologists were bronze bracelets, beads, and buttons of bone. All these objects were transported to the city's museum of history, and the church itself has become a new historical sight for tourists of the health resort.
Source: "Zhemchuzhina Rossii" newspaper

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108413477207768690

Friday, May 07, 2004

Ukraine - Advertising for children
PROnline.Ru, May 6, 2004
No secret that today children and adolescents are becoming increasingly active consumers. There is an objective reason for this - many of them have the opportunity to spend significantly more time around the television than adults do. So in a study of taste and preference in a child audience, and preferences in advertisement and mass culture in particular, a direct route to advertising influence is one of the highest ranking goals of marketing specialists. What is the child "public," as it's called today, and how should a connection to it be built?
In trying to answer this question, a Kiev agency, "Kids Market Consulting," conducted a survey among 4-16 year olds under the name of "Tender Age." Despite the fact that children, at least in the Ukraine, were significantly more advanced and wiser with regard to computers and the Internet, images and values that were traditionally close to a child audience in particular remained as they were before. The majority of advertisements (59.6%) were pleasing when they were amusing, comical or performed with humor. The second most important indicator of a good advertisement is "gripping music" (29%). As to cult aspects, the closer something is to a child, the more the preference is for constant change: it hasn't been that long since the entire world, including CIS countries, couldn't get enough of the fairy-tale character of Harry Potter. Today his place has been taken by an altogether real actor, Jackie Chan. The reason is a multimedia show "The adventures of Jackie Chan."
The main achievement of Ukrainian marketing specialists is the formation of the psychology of child consumers relating to the early years. The majority (80%) of children today have pocket money at their disposal. Although progress is being made in this regard today, consumer psychologists still have far to go.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108397774144248226

Moscow - northeast district becoming more Orthodox
Utro.Ru, May 6, 2004, regions.ru
The megalopolis authorities plan to flood the northeast of the capital with Orthodox churches in two years. In 2006 in North Medvedkov they plan to build a large church complex and a chapel. As the "Moscow Komsomlets" wrote, at the present this district of the Northeast region has a shortage of cult institutions. To remedy the situation the appearance of the church of St. Serafim Sarovsky is planned.
Through the initiative of this religious organization two Orthodox churches will be appearing in North Medvedkov in the near future. Besides having their own church on the complex, a multi-purpose building will also be built, and for the convenience of the parishioners a parking lot will be constructed there.
That year construction will also start on the church of Prince Dmitriy Donsky on Polyarnaya St. Actually, because of a shortage of land it will be erected in the form of a small chapel.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108397771172256249

Stavropol Krai - conference sees totalitarian sects as a threat
Regions.Ru, May 6, 2004
On April 27 the "Totalitarian sects - threat to contemporary society" conference was held in the city of Mikhailovsk. More than 200 people participated in the work of the conference, including the superior of the Mikhailovsk Orthodox church and representatives from government agencies of culture, health and education.
Speakers from the Stavropol spiritual seminary who appeared at the conference were the dean of the seminary, father superior Roman Lukin, academic secretary hieromonk Andrei Moroz and a seminary teacher from a parish in the Isobilnensky region, father superior Feofilakt Kuryanov.
"They don't walk into a sect, they are led into a sect," father superior Roman stressed in his lecture, "thereby violating freedom of human choice."
The superior of the Krestovozdvizhensky cathedral, protopriest Anatoliy Sklyarov, dedicated his talk to the activities of "Jehovahs Witnesses." Father Anatoliy directed the audience's attention to the methods used by representatives of this organization, the constant pressing, for which they are repeatedly criticized. "The work of the sectarians with the newly converted more resembles zombification when completely normal people, after being in the sect for several months, stop thinking, stop making self-determined decisions and stop critically assessing a situation," remarked Fr. Anatoliy.
The chairman of the Orthodox students club at South Caucasian state technical university, Anton Skrynnikov, talked about satanic sects that operate in Stavropol and adjacent regions and gave examples of his statements with a video clip about satanic crime. An unusual and interesting appearance was made by the president of the regional federation of "Aikido," master of the sport in Russia A. Khanin, a man who for many years has been a devotee of oriental hand-to-hand combat, but who settled for Orthodoxy. He called his presentation "From section to sect is one step." As he said, "in a section the glorification of personality of a teacher occurs to the point of indisputable authority, practically an idol, the fulfillment of whose will is law." "Eastern one-on-one combat and Orthodoxy are a difficult combination because, being involved in the martial arts, a person is supposed to give himself up entirely," he asserted. "Here is his philosophy, his worldview: coming into the sports auditorium, the fighter is supposed to kowtow to the teacher, to the tatami and to those present. Frequently the teachers require the participants to do their lessons without wearing a cross under one's garments. The reason given for this is to avoid injury, although some say it straight out, that the cross and tatami are incompatible."
At the close of the conference a summary document was adopted, part of which said:
"Totalitarian sects resort to deceit, suppression of information and obsessive propaganda to attract new members; they use censorship in the treatment of their members, they resort to other unethical means of controlling personality, to psychological pressure, to intimidation and other such methods of keeping members in the organization. Therefore totalitarian sects violate the human right to a free, informed choice of a worldview and a way of life.
At the present time destructive cults actively try to infiltrate and imbed themselves in organs of education, health, government administration, manufacturing and commerce. In doing this they change names frequently, they mimic others, they resort to denominational anonymity, they often use front organizations, which do not advertise their connection to the sect.
We call on the mass media to alert people to the danger of destructive cults. We consider that teachers in schools and institutions of higher education should familarize their students with information about the existence and activities of totalitarian sects.
We think that legislation about freedom of conscience and religious activity in our country has so far been inadequate. Traditional religion does not need to defend the state from totalitarian sects, the people of Russia need that. We, the conference participants, state:
The threat that emanates from totalitarian sects should be overcome, and for that it's necessary to unite the forces of government, cultural-formative religion and civil society. We express the hope that the 21st century will not become the century of pseudo-religious totalitarianism, but the century of freedom of speech, of belief and of religion.
To coordinate aid for victims of totalitarian sects we regard it as necessary to create a rehabilitation center for victims of totalitarian sects.
For further work in the field of opposing totalitarian sects we invite the right reverend bishop of Stavropol and Vladikavkazsk Feofan to approve the convocation in Fall of 2004 of a diocesan conference devoted to the problem at hand."

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108397766013225588

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Republic of Mariy El - Number of religious sects increases
Regions.Ru, May 5, 2004
117 religious organization now operate on the territory of Mariy El. The majority of them have an Orthodox tendency. However, according to information from the republic office of the FSB, the number of adherents of various religious sects has been growing, who apparently have been attracted by a plainer and simpler interpretation of the Ten Commandments, and by sympathy and understanding for all civil problems. As was reported in the FSB to "Region 12" IA, the activities of these religious organizations is not prohibited as long as they don't break the law, however even in this framework certain groups can completely subjugate a person or group of people. As a result of this sort of influence a person's worldview can be changed, as can one's relationship to environment and loved ones.
As specialists tell it, coming under the influence of sectarians is easy, but leaving a group of cult supporters is not always accomplished painlessly.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108384124879372324

Mexico - Largest Mayan city discovered
Rosbalt.Ru, May 5, 2004, Washington
A group of Italian archeologists have discovered the largest city of the Mayan Indians in Mexico, founded more than 2,000 years ago. As reported by Agency France Presse, as a result of excavation scholars are sure that the Mayan civilization was more developed and complete than was earlier suspected. In the words of archeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, who heads the excavation, "in the city of Sival lived nearly 10,000 people, who in a special manner left the city for a reason now unknown.
The scholars uncovered many cult objects and jade ornaments, with the help of which the Indians perform different ceremonies on the main square of the city. Archeologists commented that the majority of buildings were built according to strict guidelines and faced east. The archeologists' attention was also drawn to beautifully preserved anthropomorphic masks up to 5 meters long. The scholars still have in store for them the deciphering of the inscriptions on the ancient walls and on the 5 pyramids that range up to 30 meters in height. According to Estrada-Belli, "it is probable that continued excavation will allow the scholars to find many unexpected details about the Mayan civilization and the culture on the whole."

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108384122728596214

Moscow - suicide of Scientology member under investigation
Newsru.Com, May 5, 2004
The capital GUVD told "Interfax" that a woman who was a member of the Church of Scientology took her own life in Moscow. "On May 4 the police received information about a suicide at 79 Krasnobogatyrsky Street. Arriving at the scene of the incident police officers established that Elena Shevtsova, born 1981, ended her life in suicide by jumping from the 16th floor," it was said in the GUVD. After a conversation with relatives of the decedent it was revealed that E. Shevtsova and her husband were Scientologists. At the present there is no information as to whether there is a connection between the suicide and her membership in the Scientology Church. The investigation continues.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108384119962894530

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Moscow & St. Petersburg - 4th Circassian Forest Festival
Fontanka, May 4, 2004
The fourth "Circassian Forest" festival of the arts is being held May 11-30 in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, reported "Interfax."
The "Circassian Forest" presents visitors with the achievements of various schools of art - theatrical, musical, fine arts and the art of cinema. "During the festival the tradition will be observed of transplanting Circassian trees into the gardens and parks of the Russian capital," said the chairman of the organizational committee. Scheduled to make appearances at the festival are the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov, the State Academy Symphony Orchestra "New Russia" conducted by Yuri Bashmet, and the Hermitage Chamber Orchestra conducted by Aleksei Utkin.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108371688167164970

Tajikistan - holds "Contemporary Iran" photo exhibition
Iran.Ru, May 4, 2004
On Saturday, May 1 in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, the "Contemporary Iran" photo exhibition opens. It shows the progress of the Islamic Republic for the 25 years since the moment of triumph of the Islamic revolution.
The exposition shows more than 70 photographs of new projects and industrial undertakings in Iranian cities and a large industrial center, which was photographed by a well-known Iranian photographer.
The exhibit was organized by the Society of Friends of Tajikistan and Iran and the Embassy of Iran in Dushanbe, jointly with the "Baktriya" Cultural Center near the Embassy of France in Tajikistan.
Ambassador of Iran in Tajikistan Naser Sarmadi Parsa, who opened the exhibit, said, "This cultural action was organized with the goal of showing the public the degree of achievement and progress in Iran over the past two decades. Today's exposition shows a small part of the achievements of the Islamic Republic, but in the near future we will try to arrange a large exhibit of Iran's achievements in the areas of culture, arts, economics, industry and other important spheres of life for Iranian society.
Attending the opening ceremony were Tajik politicians of various rank and diplomats accredited in Tajikistan from the diplomatic delegations of many countries throughout the world.
The first day the exhibit was in operation, the Iranian exposition was visited by figures of culture and art in Tajikistan, teachers and students of Tajik universities and institutes, and admirers of Iran.
Source: "IRNA"

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108371682301484622

Iran - 17th international book fair opens
Iran.Ru, May 4, 2004
The 17th International book fair opened today in the capital of Iran. Taking part in it this year are nearly two thousand Iranian publishers, along with dozens of publishing houses from 39 countries, including Russia and other CIS countries.
Appearing at the opening ceremony, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami noted the significance of this event not only for the Islamic Republic, but also for all countries of the region. This fair, as he said, helped not only the development of the country's book industry, but also present a good opportunity for exchanging experiences among representatives of this sphere of activity from various world countries.
Source: "Itar-Tass"

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108371678085035214

USA - returns historical artifacts to Iran
Iran.Ru, May 4, 2004
The management of the University of Chicago came to the conclusion that it would not be a bad idea to return a artifacts borrowed 67 years ago to its rightful owner, Iran. These are clay tablets from the Akhmenid dynasty, which ruled Persia nearly 2,500 years ago. In 1937 these historical documents were transported for study by the Institute of the Orient, a large center for the study of Iran in the USA.
The American scholars hope that such a display of good will permit them to begin negotiations with the Iranian authorities for the purpose of conducting excavations on Iranian soil, which itself is of great interest to archeologists and historians.
Source: "NRS"

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108371674850689931

Jerusalem - Terminator at the Museum of Tolerance
CursInfo.co.Il, May 3, 2004
On May 2, 2004 in Jerusalem's Independence Park (between Agron and Gillel Streets) a ceremony was held for the laying of the first stone of the foundation of the future Museum of Tolerance. The museum has been financed to the tune of 200 million dollars. Its construction, a project of cult American architect Frank O. Harry, is scheduled for completion in 2006-7.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, director of the world Shimon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Marvin Khir and the project architect arrived from California for the event. Taking part in the ceremony on the Israeli side were Minister of Foreign Affairs Silvan Shalom, Finance Minister Binyamin Netaniyahu, vice premiere Akhud Olmert, Ministers Shcharanskiy, Kats, Orlev and Anegbi, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolyanskiy and other famous comrades.
"Cursor's" own correspondent attended the event and took nearly 300 photographs there, they are laid out in the photographic album at http://public.fotki.com/cursor/exclusive/tolerance.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108367049025433957

Saratov - Aleksandr Dvorkin talks about sects 12 hours a day
NewsRu.Com, May 3, 2004
With an extensive program of lectures, the dean of the sectology department of the Orthodox St. Tikhon theological institute in Moscow and manager of the informational-analytical center of St. Irinaeus of Lyon, Aleksandr Dvorkin, has visited Saratov, reported Blagovest-Info.
The prominent sectologist appeared before students and teachers of the Povolzhsky academy for state service, the Saratov state academy of law, the N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University, local technical, social-economic and agricultural universities, along with other colleges. The professor also got some time in a live broadcast on the state telecommunications station "Saratov," and on radio "Shanson." His working schedule began at 10 a.m. and went to 10 p.m.
Aleksandr Dvorkin spoke to audiences about the methods used to draw people into sects, and noted that none of the adepts make this choice voluntarily. "Labor contractors" lead them down a "road of fraud," with concealed information and inaccurate advertisement. Very frequently a screen is used in the pursuit of these goals, such as courses in the English language, a Bible study circle or an ecological program. In the "Saratov" station broadcast, the professor made the prediction that in the near future one could expect a mass suicide among the adherents of the Siberian Anastasia cult.
Aleksandr Dvorkin's program was arranged by the Saratov diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. The need for this sort of anti-sect operation was announced in the middle of April at a meeting of the professors and teachers at the N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University with the chairman of the department of religious education and catechesis of Saratov diocese, protopriest Dimitriy Polokhov. Those gathered expressed concern about the activities of various non-traditional religious associations within the walls of educational institutions, because, as they said, in historical perspective universities were oriented towards values that were formed under the impact of Orthodoxy.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108367045362503835

Monday, May 03, 2004

Uzbekistan - Relations with Protestants worsening
Portal-Credo.Ru, May 1, 2004
Persecution of Protestants has been increasing in Uzbekistan, reported the "Forum 18" agency. For instance, Nukusa authorities conducted an interrogation of Protestants, in the course of which the duress was used on believers to make them sign documents that they belonged to a "religious sect." Employees of the city administration repeatedly tried to influence the neighbors against the Protestants and get them evicted from their apartment. Protestants that live in the outskirts of Nukusa have encountered serious difficulty. It is known that in the village of Ornek the local administration demanded of Protestant Murat Abatov that he renounce his faith. A threat was made to the believer if he failed to submit to the authorities: the administration intended to deprive him of the right to use land. The elders of the village of Ornek called upon residents to break off any relations with Murat Abatov. The persecution touched Zulfia, Murat Abatov's sister, who teaches in the local school: the teachers convinced the children to stop associating with Christians. Ornek police officer Mukhtar Aidbekov said in an interview with "Forum 18" that nothing about Murat Abatov's activities was illegal.
Protestants of Nukusa are convinced that the escalation in the religious situation in the region is associated with terrorist acts that happened in Uzbekistan in March-April of this year.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108360663630935195

Samara - Morality committee bans commercials
Portal-Credo.Ru, May 1, 2004
Work began in Samara by the Social committee for the protection of morality, which was created in the beginning of April with the blessing of archbishop of Samara and Syzransky ROC MP Sergiy (Poletkina), reported Samara Today with links to "Blagovest Info."
On April 22 the Samaran territorial anti-monopoly committee examined, by application of this social organization, the matter of violations of the federal law "On advertising" by the "Moda Haus" company, which displays posters of "Sisley" underwear on city streets.
The chairman of the state agency, Petr Torkanovskiy, upheld the claim by the Orthodox social organization and referred to the fact that the portrayal conflicts with moral principles of the majority of the country's population, required the company to remove the advertising posters. "Moda Haus" manager Sergei Zorin from the "Benetton" company, the holder of the "Sisley" trademark, voiced surprise that the poster offended the moral sense of the Samars, because neither abroad nor in 15 other cities in Russia that have "Sisley" shops have complaints been received. At the same time he commented that the company was ready to abandon the advertising questioned in Samara and promised the posters would be removed before May 1. Petr Torkanovskiy confirmed the territorial anti-monopoly committee would meet and henceforward would guide politicians to support the original culture of Russia.
The Social committee for the protection of morality is led by the secretary of the Samara diocesan administration ROC protopriest Viktor Ushatov. As he said, one of the main objectives of the committee is the fight against immoral street advertisements. "More than once I've heard from parishioners that street advertising brings about an increase in sinful intentions," he said in an interview with the "Blagovest" Orthodox newspaper. In accordance with the founder's plans, the committee will be guided by the law "on advertising," however, Fr. Viktor expressed his personal opinion that this law itself not infrequently was conducive to the spread of illegalities. "But any power is from God and that means we deserve this law, we will fulfill it and use it," clarified the diocesan secretary. "We need to exert all effort to gather a number of like-minded professionals, in matters of legislature, in the creation of advertisements, including clerics and psychologists. If needed, we will make an effort to change the legislative base."
Protopriest Viktor Ushatov underscored that companies would be given every opportunity to correct the assumed mistake. At first the committee would approach the advertising company and advertisers with a request to remove the immoral poster, and then, if refused, discussion of the problem would be carried out in the anti-monopoly committee.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#10836066057880135

Moscow - Krishna spaces will be no less than before
Portal-Credo.Ru, May 1, 2004
The new space for the Krishnas in Moscow will have the exact same area as they have now, said the capital city deputy mayor Mikhail Men, reported "Interfax."
"The Krishna temple on Khodynsky field will not be built. It will be as small as what the Krishnas have now, not bigger," said Mihail Men on April 30.
"We were compelled, in accordance with the general plan for city construction, to take the building they are now using. With respect to them being a registered denomination, we were obliged to provide them with an alternative," said Mikhail Men.
He called the previous presentation of the Krishna temple "PR." "The proposed building with towers 38.5 and 52 meters high shown by representatives of the community is their personal fantasy; absolutely nobody in Moscow city architecture has approved that," noted the government representative.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108360657702511077

Armenia - Security investigations regarding religious organizations
Portal-Credo.Ru, May 1, 2004
The department for matters of national minority and religious apparatus of the government of the Republic of Armenia has appealed to the Council of Europe to conduct "serious" research regarding the activity of religious organizations, reported the "Kavkazskiy Uzel."
At this point there has still not been a single multilateral serious analysis in Armenia about the security of activities by religious organizations, stated the chief of the department, Granush Kharatyan,
"despite the presence in the country of a specific problem." Granush Kharatyan noted that impartial research would show if these organizations were really safe from the viewpoint of freedom of conscience and safeguarding of public security. For discussion and analysis of problems in the sphere of religious organizations, at the end of May a big meeting is planned with religious organizations, experts, analysts and specialists.
The reason for the "Jehovahs Witnesses" not being registered in Armenia as a religious organization, according to Granush Kharatyan, is not only the attitude of this organization towards fulfillment of military obligation, but also the fulfillment of cult rituals and the spread of their views and other positions on workers regulations that are contrary to the law of Armenia." The department notified the organization that if they showed they would observe the law the Jehovahs Witnesses would be registered.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108360654510027636

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Europe - May 1 celebrations
Podrobnosti.Ua, May 1, 2004
In Spain at the International day of celebration the working slogan "No to terrorism!" pushed back to second place the traditional economic and social demands of participants in the May First demonstrations. The organizers of the event decided to dedicate it to the memory of the victims of the terrorist acts on March 11 in Madrid. For this same reason on Saturday it was decided that the festivities would all be held in the open air.
In the capital of Spain rows of demonstrators, in whose ranks the two large unions of the country walked side-by-side with each other -- they are usually rivals, the "Workers Commission" and the World Workers Union - began their march through the city from where they laid wreaths at Atocha station.
It was at this spot on March 11 in a suburban train that the first terrorist bomb exploded, an episode that ended up claiming the lives of 191 people and wounding more than two thousand. The victims and injured were basically workers.
The Saturday demonstration in Madrid was so large that police deemed it appropriate to re-route traffic in the two larger sections of the city. More than 60 May First demonstrations were held in other cities of Spain. At many of them "No to terrorism" signs were displayed next to anti-war slogans.
Taking into account the scale of the May First demonstrations in Spain, regional authorities conducted festive gatherings to celebrate the enlargement of the European Union the day before, on April 30. On one of the central squares of Madrid, the flags of all 25 members of the enlarged EU were raised that day.
Estonian unions marked 1 May with meetings and demonstrations in the center of Tallin. The unions' May First events this year were held parallel with the official celebration for the addition of Estonia to the EU.
As was reported in the Labor Union center press office in Estonia, union members gathered in the morning in the center of Tallin by the union memorial on Toompuiest Boulevard, where various worker and union representatives appeared.
After that a tree was planted in the park by Shnelli pond. On Saturday, May 1, an all-Estonian action began with the planting of trees in connection with the addition of Estonia to the EU. It is estimated that across the entire country more than one million trees will be planted.
In Italy, nearly 10,000 people took part in the national 1 May activities which, as was decided by the three large unions of the country, VIKT, IKPT and IST, were held in the city of Goritsia on the border with Slovenia.
The selection of the site for the traditional activities was made this year with the addition of Slovenia to the European Union in mind.
"For our celebration we chose this city, which in the past has been a symbol of division, but now should become a symbol of rediscovered unity, that of the new Europe that we are now building. This is a Europe of solidarity and peace," said IKPT leader Savino Peccotta at a public meeting. Slovenian union leaders also participated in the 1 May activities.
In the evening on the Roman square of San Giovanni the traditional 1 May concert is held. For the first time this year, this cult event will be recorded and broadcast by RAI state television. It was difficult for the RAI general director Flavio Cattaneo to make this decision, what with the complicated international climate, compounded by the situation in Iraq, where three Italians are being held hostage.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108349940981746721

Saint Petersburg - "Thoughts about Native Land" exhibit opens
Rosbalt.Ru, April 30, 2004
The "Thoughts about Native Land" exhibit opens on Friday the Museum of Anna Akhmatova in the Fontanna center. As was said to "Rosbalt" in the museum, the exhibit will contain photographs, paintings, articles and video. Artistic projects, composed by well-known contemporary authors, show different versions of the Russian concept - from restoration-monarchical to left-radical. The versions presented include the downfall of new Russian capitalism, a futuristic anti-utopia that was born under the influence of computer games, and a country idyll. Versions of the military development of the Russian state are shown that include video and photographs. Reflections on power inspired the authors to create the project "New government" -- this is people in black rubber masks, supposedly chosen by means of a computer test. A different theme is the territory of Russia that in recent years has been subjected to multiple reorganization. One of the keys to that show is cult leaders. For example, the visitors are welcome to interact with a guilded sculpture of the President: one can shake hands with the guilded "Putin" and hear him say in response, "I love you."
Creators from different regions of Russia are taking part in the exhibit. They include permanent staff of the more prestigious world art forums. The artists include: Sofia Azarkhi, Dmitriy Bulnygin, Konstantin Skotnikov, Vyacheslav Mizin, Irina Valdron, Dmitriy Vilenskiy, Olga and Aleksandr Florensky, Marina Koldobskaya, Georgiy Ostretseva and others. The exhibit runs until May 31.

archive url: http://cultology.blogspot.com/2004/05/#108349938035978653

Moscow - How Bishop Ryahovsky's prophecies were fulfilled
St. Irineaus religious research center, April 28, 2004
Yaroslavsky sectologist Evgeniy Mukhtarov obligingly provided us with the following selection of material. It appears to us we have been confronted with an extremely rare moment of truth, where the leading neo-Pentecostal of the land, Ryahovsky, has bared his soul and made a break-through.
It's complicated to persistently play the role that Sergei Vasilevich (Mr. R) has taken upon himself. This role has manifested itself in a white, "fluffy," innocent and amicable Protestant, who wants very much to be liked by all. He, so it is said, is the bishop of a traditional Protestant association, who would have wanted to work hand in hand with the Russian Orthodox Church for the spiritual enlightenment of Russia and even fight against the sectarians. Ostensibly the Orthodox Church recognizes him, too, and the Patriarch approves and Metropolitan Cyril regards him as his best friend, but there's just one little thing - a small group of noisy pseudo-Orthodox extremists are accusing him of being a cultist and his wards of being a totalitarian cult, and it constantly provokes them.
It is obvious, though, that this role isn't working out for Ryahovsky, it's even become a source of aggravation. Over the last two months, two gaping holes have appeared in this role that clearly show who's pulling whose leg. In the ongoing dispute between the Orthodox and the Krishnas, who want to put up a huge heathen temple on sacred ground, "cult-fighter" Ryahovsky has emerged on the Krishna's side. And here the "best friend of Orthodoxy" has now launched a rude attack on the Orthodox Church and openly declared the expansionist plans of his sect. An "advocate of separation of church and state" shared the "extraordinary news" with an ANS journalist that he has "prophesied over" the president of the country. Moreover, Mr. Ryahovsky also tried to prophesy over the Orthodox Church, and prophesied future persecution from it for the charismatics.
A most scandalous revelation.
It's not surprising that after the unexpected attack, Ryahovsky tried to back out of the story. But the word - unlike the sparrow..., was captured in his written interview, and caused his lie to be exposed.
The situation was very similar to that which happened several months ago, when executive committee chairman Sergei Zuev of the "Center of the Society for Krishna Consciousness in Russia" said in an interview with the "Guardian" newspaper that the Russian Orthodox Church was an extremist xenophobic organization and besides that, was the biggest totalitarian sect in our country and was a threat to religious peace and harmony. Alarmed, he likewise tried to take his words back, but they were caught by irrefutable witnesses.
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from all this - it never pays to trust professional frauds or hypocrites.
The Center for Religious Research
Russian language source: http://jesuschrist.ru/news/2003/11/29/5319
Source of complete English-language article:
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s03110116.htm, which as of April 30, 2004 gave permission to republish this story by Dan Wooding and Peter Wooding with proper attribution. The following is a greatly abridged version:
Friday, November 28, 2003
Sergei V. Ryahovsky, who leads a large Pentecostal group, said in an interview in St. Petersburg, "I know that the next persecution for evangelical church in Russia will come from the Orthodox Church." When asked why, he replied, "Because the Orthodox Church thinks that all of Russia is their colonial territory. It's crazy."
The Bishop then revealed the extraordinary news that he has "prophesied" over President Vladimir Putin.
"I a member of his Religion Board and I have had many conversations with him about the Evangelical Church in Russia," he said. "I have prayed for him many times and I have also prophesied over him. He is an Orthodox believer but I know that, as President, he supports us."
Bishop Ryahovsky went on to say, "Now is a very important moment for Russia. We have about 5,000 Evangelical churches in Russia and God has prepared now for a foundation for a big revival. I believe now is the exact time for God's moving in this country."
[ *** Middle of article snipped. If you want to read it, maybe it is still webbed at http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/s03110116.htm *** ]
"My parents they had 10 children. I have six children and they all work in the church in Moscow."
NOTE: 30 Nov. 2003 we received a refutation from the office of S.V. Ryahovsky, and the same time, 1 Dec. 2003, corroboration of the fact that the interview with ANS was held.
Source: http://www.jesuschrist.ru/news/2003/11/30/5321
Portal: "Jesus Christ.ru", 30 November 2003, 17:55
From: K.V. Bendas, rufosoef at mtu-net.ru
"We officially communicate that the "interview" you presented with Bishop Sergei Vasilevich Ryahovsky is a counterfeit and very close to a provocation. The bishop actually had a brief meeting with a certain Peter Wooding in the time mentioned in the crusade material, but this was not an interview, simply a brief exchange of opinion on the festival of Korean Christian culture.
S.V. Ryahovsky is a member of the Council for cooperation with religious associations under the RF President, but that has not been accompanied by "many conversations with the President," nor "praying and prophesying over him ..."
Neither does the bishop believe that the "next wave of persecution on Evangelical Christians will come from the Orthodox Church." We
are not going to sit around and be persecuted, but will do what the Lord calls us to. Possibly there are isolated instances of opposition on the part of individual Russian Orthodox clergy, but on the whole a positive dialogue is being conducted and cooperative programs exist.
S.V. Ryahovsky actually has six children, but it seems that two of them cannot "work in the church" because they are young students ... Please do whatever you can to most expeditiously remove the material, so that you are not implicated by the counterfeit.
ROSKhVE Executive Director,
Administrative affairs for Bishop S.V. Ryahovsky
K.V. Bendas"
Note: 1 Dec. 2003 corroboration of the fact that the interview was held with ANS.
Source: http://www.jesuschrist.ru/news/2003/12/1/5323
Portal "Jesus Christ.ru", 1 December 2003, 12:26
The ASSIST News Service in the person of Dan Wooding, founder of the service, sent to the JesusChrist.ru news digest an audio file recording of the interview with ROSKhVE bishop Sergei Ryahovsky, in answer to our inquiry concerning the receipt from the ROSKhVE office of a refutation. You can hear the interview (recorded in the English language) at http://biblerussia.org/audio/ans_ryakhovsky.mp3
From the discussion on the topic "Sergei Ryahovsky: The next wave of persecution for Evangelicals will come from Orthodox Church" on the forum of the "Jesus Christ.ru" portal (http://www.jesuschrist.ru/forum/119534)
- Timofei, administrator, 01/12/03 10:30 a.m. (1 Dec 2003)
I got the audio file and there Sergei Ryahovsky actually says these words! SVR knows how to speak in English, so he knows what he said.
- Vysota, 01/12/03 01:13 p.m.
Ryahovsky really speaks about future persecution from the side of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The only error in the report: he says that the ROC considers Russia as its CANONICAL territory, not colonial.
- Timofei, administrator, 02/12/03 07:55 a.m.
As far as I am aware, the refutation from the ROSKhVE office is filed with the name of SVR, not SVR himself ... I myself have no basis not to believe ANS, because this is a serious news service, which many readers trust. During this they got some words from SVR - possibly meant for a personal conversation (although SVR talked about the scale of the service) - which turned into hot news.
- Evangelist, 02/12/03 08:33 a.m.
I have the impression that at first the man was saying something, but then he withdrew his words, which were bad even just for Christian, not to mention a presbyter. If he would have said verified or renounced and be done with it, and not make excuses ..."
I don't know English myself, but I asked my Christian friend from America to listen to the recording. Here's what he said, "The journalist correctly (on the whole) reported the meaning of Ryahovsky's words. Although his English leaves something, or much, to be desired ... just the same he really asserted that he knew Putin "very well," that he "prophesied over" him, that Putin is "for us," etc., and also that persecution would come from the Orthodox Church. But about his children he merely said "yes" to the correspondent's question "and all your family are in the church?"

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