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Russians Should Protest Sex Shops, Not Churches, Orthodox Spokesman Says

Moskva News Agency

Russians should oppose sex shops instead of new church constructions, the Russian Orthodox Church leader’s spokesman said regarding recent outrage over plans to build a cathedral in place of a park in Yekaterinburg.

Mass protests against a controversial plan to build a new cathedral in a popular riverside park in Russia’s fourth-largest city gained national attention this month. Authorities later suspended construction at the site in order to hold a public poll to determine the cathedral’s final location.

“Who in their right mind ... would oppose the construction of a church?” Patriarch Kirill’s spokesman Alexander Volkov was quoted as saying by Interfax on Wednesday.

“Why don’t we hear the same people who speak out against construction in parks voicing similarly loud and clear outrage about the opening of pubs and adult shops?” Volkov asked.

But while he lamented “that it feels like our entire country goes to adult stores all the time,” new research showed that sex shops are disappearing in Russia.

The number of brick-and-mortar sex shops in major Russian cities has declined from 2,200 to 1,450 in the past two years as business increasingly shifts online, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday.

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