Title: Russian church in NZ challenged Credit: Rainbow Wellington Features Thursday 7th November 2013 - 2:41pm1383788460 Article: 14158 Rights
Rainbow Wellington has written to its local Russian Orthodox Priest to express concern about regular reports of "Orthodox gangs" in Russia being involved in violent attacks on lgbti people. Read its letter and find out how you can follow suit here: Dear Father Skorik You will I am sure be aware of recent reports in the media about the new Russian laws restricting the rights of those in "non-traditional relationships" and the international controversy those laws have engendered. Rainbow Wellington is a local group which advocates on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. We are particularly alarmed at the reported increase in violence against gay people in Russia, who seem regularly to be attacked by homophobic mobs, and in one recent case murdered. Even more disturbing are reports that these mobs sometimes consist of groups purporting to represent the Russian Orthodox Church. So we thought we would write to you, as the local representative of the ROC, to clarify this situation. We have not read any reports that the Primate of the ROC has condemned this violence, only a recent report where he strongly condemned same-sex marriage. We are well aware of the doctrines of the ROC, and indeed all the Orthodox Churches regarding homosexuality. They are very similar to those other Christian Churches of a conservative nature, such as the Roman Catholics. However, other Churches fall over themselves to condemn any violence towards gay people. In contrast the ROC seems to be condoning, even if not actively supporting such violence. We would welcome your comment and clarification on this issue. If anyone else would like to contact their local branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, contacts are here Rainbow Wellington - 7th November 2013    
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