23 January 2013, 17:19
Kazakh Orthodox blasts Jesus cartoon in Internet publication
Alma-Ata, January 23, Interfax - Bishop Gennady, manager of the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan, believes the Jesus cartoon published in the Internet newspaper Megapolis is unacceptable because it is aimed against religious peace and accord.
"This article and this cartoon drew a colossal response in the Orthodox public. […] Of course, our position is that such articles and cartoons are unacceptable in respected publications," the bishop told a press conference at the Interfax on Wednesday.
The article, which dealt with the Christmas celebrations at Holy Assumption Cathedral in Astana, was published on the Megapolis website on January 14. According to the material, officials from the local administration came to the church to congratulate believers on Christmas.
"The officials were two women who walked by the people who were in the church and stood on the ambo, where priests normally conduct their services," the article, which was illustrated by the cartoon, says.
"This article and this cartoon are especially aimed against religious peace and accord, and they destroy these values […] The cartoon is totally unacceptable, this cartoon cannot be justified with any liberal values," Bishop Gennady said.
Bishop Gennady said Astana Deputy Mayor Aida Balayeva, who came to the church that day, did not stand on the ambo.
"There were absolutely no violations of the church's rules," the bishop said, adding that he believes the authors of the article "have little knowledge of the church's rules."
Bishop Gennady also said the Russian Orthodox Church has no intention of filing any lawsuits against the paper, adding that he hopes the materials in question will be removed from the Megapolis website.