Russian Railways to Play Christian Audio-Programs on Long-Distance Trips

A photograph of a Russian Railways "Church Wagon."

State-owned monopoly Russian Railways will give its passengers the chance to expand their knowledge of history, religion and philosophy by making a series of audio-programs available in the sleeping compartments of 200 trains.

The programs could feature histories of Russian saints like Princess Olga and Prince Vladimir or the lives of classical philosophers such as Thales and Pliny the Younger, said Lyudmila Borzyak, who is the project's developer and a Radio Russia columnist.

There may also be programs on the history of various inventions, Interfax reported Sunday.

But experts are sceptical about the idea's merits. Church history expert Irina Karatsuba said that introducing Christian audio-programs on trains violates the constitutional principle of secularism in state organizations, Dozhd television reported.

The initiative could push people away from religion if it is imposed upon travelers in such a presumptuous way, she said.

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