- Associated Press - Saturday, March 18, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - About 4,000 people have demonstrated in St. Petersburg to protest the handover of the city’s landmark St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the control of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The cathedral was taken over by the state during Soviet times and run as a museum. After the 1991 Soviet collapse it continued in that role, although it occasionally held religious services as well.

Many critics of the move also express concern about the growing power of Russia’s Orthodox Church, which is a leader of moves toward social conservatism.

Natalya Popel, a participant in Saturday’s demonstration, says “I want my grandchildren to visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral as a museum but not as a place with a certain religious ideology.”

Prominent cultural figures, including the director of the Hermitage Museum, have criticized the decision.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide