Pro-Christian protests take hold in Russia

Aug. 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM

MOSCOW, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Public protests by Russian Christian fundamentalists are nearing illegality despite their pro-government tone, officials said.

The group, Grassroots Christians, has publicly preached against homosexuality, targeting illicit gay pride parades that are banned by the government. Members of the group, which has gained wide coverage in Russia, have been detained by government officials while preaching to prostitutes, perceived homosexuals and a wide swath of others who have taken to the streets recently in opposition to Prime Minister Vladmir Putin's return to power.

"Our traditional values are being destroyed by people who consciously chose the path of evil," Grassroots Christians member Dimitry Enteo said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Enteo's group crashed an art gallery opening celebrating eroticism and interrupted a movie to espouse their views -- while being accompanied by a news crew from a state-controlled television station. They have also called for gays to be put in rehabilitation for their "deviation."

The group supported Putin's return to power citing his endorsement by high-ranking officials in the Russian Orthodox church.

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