One of the unruly ghosts of the Cultural Revolution has taken a new, dark turn: The authorities have seized the Old Agora church in Siberia after the seizure of the other surviving Old Agora church nearby.
The building, in the city of Khabarovsk, has long been a symbol of Soviet oppression.
Here is what it looks like:
Old Agora church in the Khabarovsk vicinity, photographed in 2013. (china Daily News Archives)
But this latest banishment seems even darker. After the U.S. government set off a controversy over its use of a hit list for companies doing business with North Korea, the minister of religious affairs intervened on the church’s behalf.
The government said it had nothing to do with it.
A spokesperson said “the lack of religious freedom in Russia is the result of the policy of zero sum ‘social policies’ … Analogously to church bans in Georgia, the national authority firmly rejects any insinuations that the initiative came from any government agency.”
Also: They’re hurling, not lighting, hydrochloric acid at Siberian Orthodox church Old Agora [SudetaoNEWS.com] pic.twitter.com/g7TUkQ3BRg — Sheila Friedman (@SheilaFriedman1) September 15, 2018