A man who climbed on the roof of the Kazan Cathedral on Red Square and shouted a Muslim call to prayer on Russian Orthodox Christmas Eve has been sent to a psychiatric hospital, a news report said.
The man, whom tabloid news website LifeNews identified as a Guinea native who is married to a Moscow woman, appeared to be trying to preach something to the crowd below during his Monday appearance, but most of his words were inaudible.
Police and medical teams took the man to a psychiatric hospital to be treated for schizophrenia, an unidentified law-enforcement official said.
The man has a history of psychiatric disorders related to unrest in his impoverished West African homeland, LifeNews reported. He received refugee status in Russia in 2010.
Some of the onlookers shouted back at the self-proclaimed preacher: "Get down from there," Russian news reports said. Then, the bells of the cathedral started to toll, as its staff tried to muffle the shouts of the man, Interfax-Religion reported. Тhe man was reportedly yelling, "God is great."
Russia's council of Muftis, Muslim religious leaders, denounced the incident as a "dangerous provocation," the council's deputy head Rushan Abbyasov said, Ekho Moskvy reported.
A member of the State Duma's religions affairs committee, Vladimir Burmatov, said the case was an act of hooliganism and the offender must be punished.