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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Moscow: Orthodox will picket Catholic Christmas celebration

Moscow, Dec. 21 (AsiaNews) - Russian Orthodox activists will picket Moscow's Catholic cathedral on Christmas Eve, the AsiaNews service reports.

The anti-Catholic demonstration is being organized by a prominent Orthodox deacon, Andrej Kuraev, who enjoys the support of the Moscow patriarchate. He has enlisted support from a right-wing nationalist youth group.

The demonstration is billed as a gesture "in defense of Russian Christmas." The Orthodox Church, following the old Julian calendar, celebrates Christmas on January 7.

Orthodox leaders have complained persistently about the activity of the Catholic Church in Russia. The Moscow Patriarchate contends that Catholics should not engage in "proselytism" in countries where the Orthodox Church has traditionally been dominant-- countries that the Moscow Patriarchate claims as its "canonical territory."

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