Religious protesters take on H’w’d pix

Some speakers issued calls to burn books, cassettes

Hundreds of religious protestors gathered Sunday in Moscow’s Pushkin Square to lambaste the moral standards of recent Hollywood fare, including “The Da Vinci Code” and “The Omen.”

The protestors, aligned with cultural and youth groups associated with the Russian Orthodox Church, sweltered in 90-degree heat to object to scenes of depravity and depictions of drug use, Satanism and eroticism in films and the media in general.

They accuse Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the Federal Agency for Culture & Cinematography, which licenses theatrical releases, of inciting religious hatred. Other speakers issued calls to burn books and cassettes of “Code” and “The Omen.”

Such religious-inspired demonstrations are becoming more common in what was once an atheist state.

Last year, directors of a Moscow museum dedicated to the memory of human rights activist Andrei Sakharov were fined by the court after protests against the venue’s staging of an exhibition titled “Beware! Religion.”

With church-state links between Orthodox leaders and the Kremlin strengthening, religious protestors also have been involved in violent actions outside two Moscow gay clubs and at a small Gay Pride march in the city in late May.

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