23 November 2010, 10:19
Kaliningrad's Orthodox Christians accuse Catholics of proselytizing plot
Kaliningrad, November 23, Interfax - More than 600 Orthodox Christians in Kaliningrad issued a statement accusing the city's Roman Catholic community of a scheme to proselytize Orthodox believers.
The statement followed a heated debate over an order by the city administration to hand over 15 buildings to the Orthodox community including the former Catholic Church of the Holy Family.
Angered Catholics and members of opposition parties have held several street demonstrations and have written an open letter to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, and the Russian government.
The Orthodox statement, which came as a response to those protests, said the Catholic community's letter represented "not as much the voice of citizens who are seeking ministry for their religious needs as a desire on the part of the Catholic community to enlarge what is already a noticeable local presence of their faith, for some reason citing the historical truth."
Catholics were a religious minority in East Prussia, the former German province that is today's Kaliningrad Region, and are a religious minority in Russia today, the statement said.
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