26 September 2011, 10:19
Moldovan Orthodox believers protest registration of Islamic League
Chisinau, September 26, Interfax - A demonstration against the Moldovan Justice Ministry's decision to register the Islamic League of Moldova was held in Chisinau on Friday.
Over 5,000 people picketed the Justice Ministry's building and the UN office in the center of Chisinau.
The protesters were holding Orthodox icons and banners saying, 'It is better to die standing than live on the knees', 'Stop Lawlessness', 'Our Law is Orthodoxy', 'We are people, not an electorate', 'Down with strange gods', and others.
The people demanded that the Justice Ministry cancel the Islamic League's registration and the parliament refuse to pass a bill on nondiscrimination.
The passage of the latter bill is among the European Union's preconditions of Moldova's European integration, and Orthodox believers are concerned that, after the bill takes effect, same-sex marriages could be legalized in the country.
"If the authorities fail to hear the believers' voice, other measures will be taken," Ghenadie Valuta, the head of the Orthodox non-governmental organization Pro Ortodoxia, told journalists.
The protesters are prepared for radical measures, Valuta said. "We will block various Chisinau streets to traffic, wake up the people and organize a great national assembly in defense of the Orthodoxy," he said.
"The Moldovan Metropolitanate should call a national convention of the church in order to discuss the situation and preserve Orthodoxy," he said.
"The authorities should change the law on cults in the interests of the people, 93% of whom are Orthodox Christians. International organizations should also take this into account and not make hasty conclusions," Valuta said.
The Orthodox believers are also preparing an address to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who plans to pay a patriarchic visit to Moldova in early October.
Interfax reported earlier that the Justice Ministry registered the Islamic League of Moldova on March 14, 2011.