A number of posters claiming the innocence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect behind the Boston Marathon bombing, have gone up in Russia in the territory of Chechnya, where he and his older brother are originally from.
"This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old lad accused of a terrorist attack in Boston. But as many people now know, that is a groundless accusation, there is absolutely no evidence against him," reads one of the posters in Grozny, capital of Chechnya, according to BBC News.
"Now he is in a serious condition, in a prison hospital, he needs medical and legal help. Dzhokhar's parents ask you for help, to collect money for their son, whom they cannot lose, as they have already lost the older son, cruelly, unjustly. We will be grateful for any help, in the name of the Almighty do not remain indifferent." more >>
The Russian military has introduced a high-tech air-dropped church along with a unit of priests trained in parachuting and vehicle assembly to serve the army and navy's Orthodox Christian soldiers in the field. The European country claims its airborne-friendly and ready-to-assemble house of worship is the first the world has ever seen, although similar structures have long been in existence.
RIA Novisit, Russian's official news and information agency, shared photos over the weekend on its Facebook page of paratroopers holding exercises near Ryazan, about 124 miles from Moscow. The news agency noted that among the "ordinary paratroopers" were paratrooper priests and their "mobile cathedral."
The paratrooper chaplains are among a preliminary group of about a dozen Russian Orthodox Church priests assigned to the country's Baltic Fleet in an effort to restore full-service chaplaincy to the country's armed forces, according to RIA Novisit. Russia is reportedly planning to assign 400 military chaplains to army and naval units. more >>
Russia has defended a bill that seeks to outlaw what it calls "homosexual propaganda," arguing that the country should not be expected to comply with the European Union or international views on tolerance.
"We don't have a single international or common European commitment to allow propaganda of homosexuality," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
Russia is currently considering a bill that would make public events in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community illegal, with those deemed to be targeting minors subject to fines of up to $16,000. more >>
Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries, which works to evangelize and mobilize Christian leadership throughout Eurasia, has recently brought to light the plight of Thomas Kang, a pastor from San Diego, Calif., who has been imprisoned in Russia on a bribery charge for the past five months.
The so called "bribe," as referred to by Russian authorities, was actually a $30 donation he provided along with a fully-paid fine, according to Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries.
Kang, a Korean-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, has reportedly been living in Russia for the past nine years, building the "House of Joy," a large home meant to serve as a retreat destination for low-income families of soldiers, as well as a place for Christian worship. more >>
The Ten Commandments Party, a political party comprised of Christians, Muslims and Jews, held its inaugural congress on Sunday in Moscow, where they called for a restoration of moral values in Russia.
As many as 134 delegates from 45 Russian subjects were present at the congress, which is the decision making body of the party. The organization says that the Ten Commandments are shared by different religions, and the moral guidelines behind them are applicable to nonbelievers as well.
"We need a real moral revolution, or counterrevolution. The moral values should return to political, economic life, to interpersonal relations," said Sergey Mezentsev, Ph.D, the party leader. more >>
The Russian government has advised parliament to amend a bill which includes jail terms for those found guilty of "offending religious feeling." The legislation was introduced after the feminist punk band Pussy Riot staged a protest in Moscow's main cathedral in February 2012.
The government reportedly issued a statement on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, urging parliament to rework the anti-blasphemy bill, as it may endanger the rights of Jews, Muslims, and others outside the Russian Orthodox Church, as the law includes a specific phrase that protects the Russian Orthodox Church but does not protect other faiths.
Reportedly, one of the lawmakers who supported the bill has indicated that the government's advice would be taken into consideration, although it remains unclear what parliament's next step would be, according to Reuters. more >>