Religion: Giddy Days for the Russian Church

Historic events signal growing respectability for long-persecuted Christians

Under crystal skies and a brilliant sun, temperatures in Moscow soared near 100 degrees F last week. The exceptional climate was an appropriate accompaniment to the unprecedented warmth that emanated from Mikhail Gorbachev's Kremlin during the celebrations marking the country's 1,000th year of Christianity. Church bells, so rarely heard in the land of Lenin, pealed joyously as rituals unfolded in the gilded Russian Orthodox sanctuaries. Some 500 spiritual dignitaries from 100 nations were in attendance. Among them: Anglican Leader Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury, American Evangelist Billy Graham, and no fewer than nine Cardinals and 27 bishops, the largest and...

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