The Russian Orthodox Church continues to tread on the Constitutional rights of Russian citizens. Letters arrived simultaneously at Moscow and Vladivostok Administrative Centers earlier this week - one from Patriarch Alexius II praising the ban in Moscow on public activities of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals and a second from Archbishop Benjamin of the Vladivostok Diocese requesting to prohibit Boris Moiseev from appearing in concert later this year.
Church Leaders called an "artistic council meeting" at which the fate of Moiseev's concert in Vladivostok was discussed. Due to "requests from Church members," reported information agencies, a decision was reached that judged the concert as propaganda promoting "a corrupt way of life and Sodom and Gomorrah type sins." In the letter from the Diocese, Moiseev's concert was deemed "a summons for increased social morality" and a sin.
The events of the last few months clearly reveal the determined intentions of the Russian Orthodox Church to gain control of secular life of even non-Orthodox Russian citizens. Similar events took place in 2004-2005 when the Russian Orthodox Church spoke out against Boris Moiseev's concert tour in more than 20 cities throughout Russia. The aggressiveness of the Church against Moiseev in particular is due to the fact that he is practically the only open homosexual artist among the Russian pop scene. Historically authorities have paid little attention to the requests of the Russian Orthodox Church regarding secular issues. As a result of the requests in 2004, only two of Boris Moiseev's concerts were cancelled - in Islamic Dagestan and in one city on the outskirts of Moscow.
Translation by Timofey Grishin