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Orthodox Activists Crash Radio Station Anniversary Party

Festivities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a prominent radio station Serebryany Dozhd (Silver Rain) were halted Saturday when scores of Orthodox religious activists crashed the party, demanding it come to an immediate end, Russian media reported.

The party, which was sanctioned by the authorities, was held in the courtyard of the radio station's offices in northern Moscow, in the vicinity of a church, Ekho Moskvy radio station reported.

"Right in the middle of the party a hundred people led by a priest stormed in, taking down metal detectors and barriers," Alexander Bunin, a presenter for the radio station, was cited by news tabloid LifeNews as saying Saturday.

The party crashers were parishioners from the church nearby, Bunin said, led by the church's senior priest, Dmitry Smirnov. Smirnov climbed onto the stage, took the microphone from the announcer, and demanded an end to the festivities, saying all the noise was interfering with the rights of believers to pray in silence.

The party resumed half an hour later, after local police helped resolve the conflict.

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