Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

The New Harry Potter Book Has Split Russia's Christian Activists

Neil Hall / Reuters

Russian Orthodox activists are split over the new Harry Potter play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” In particular, two prominent Orthodox movements have taken different positions on the play, after years of controversy in Russia surrounding the seven bestselling books that preceded it, written by British author J. K. Rowling.

The “Cursed Child” script was first published in July this year, but the official Russian translation by Maria Slivak arrived only this Wednesday to mixed reviews.

According to the “Forty Times Forty” Orthodox movement, Harry Potter represents a plot by the Western mass media to poison the minds of Russian youths. “Because Western society is sabotaging the concept of good and evil,” the group’s leader, Andrei Kormukhin, told the website TJournal, claiming that Rowling’s books encourage young people to replace prayer and belief in God with magic and sorcery. Kormukhin also boasts that none of his nine children has read a word of Harry Potter.

Meanwhile, the leader of the movement “God's Will,” Dmitry Tsorionov (better known as “Enteo”), has refused to call the new Harry Potter book a work of “Satanism,” saying that the term would apply to many literary classics, including works by Gogol, if interpreted so strictly. Enteo told TJournal that he prefers the writings of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, but he says decisions about reading materials should be left to parents, ultimately.

Earlier this year, with funding from the Russian government, a religious charity released a shoddily made 90-minute film titled “Kids Versus Wizards,” based on a book published in 2004, where Harry Potter is portrayed as a hormone-injecting transvestite, and the wizarding world is led by a gang of evil sorcerers with Jewish-sounding names. You can watch the whole movie here on YouTube, if you feel the need to punish your eyes and ears.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more