Hostile Congregation

MISHA JAPARIDZE/AP

Demonstrators in Moscow protest Catholicism?s rising profile

For Christians, Palm Sunday is a day of quiet reflection that commemorates Christ's entry into Jerusalem before His passion. But the 1,500 members of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) who gathered for Palm Sunday in Moscow's Slavyanskaya Square late last month were filled with belligerence and anger. The ROC faithful, represented by a motley crew of nationalist groups and pro-Kremlin Duma deputies, were protesting the rise of non-Orthodox faiths in the country, branding the Catholic presence in particular as "a new Vatican crusade against Russia." Similar rallies took place in a score of Russian cities that day.

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