ORTHODOX PRIEST PREACHES IN YOUTH ROCK CLUBS
MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti) - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
II has awarded hieromonk Sergius, father superior of a Moscow church, with
Discovered Generation prize for his missionary work among hippies, rockers
punks. The priest sets informal youths on the right path by preaching in
clubs. The curriculum of the children's Sunday school in his church includes
course in electric guitar playing, Novye Izvestia writes.
In the 1970s the future hieromonk was himself a hippy. Now the father
of the Descent Church in the Lazarevskoye cemetery, remembers those days
irony, "At that time we tried to move against the stream, against the
hypocritical atmosphere" of Soviet society.
He continues swimming against the stream even today. Despite all
he is a regular at noisy rock concerts, visits to which have become part of
work on his own initiative. A stocky person in a long robe, with a cross on
neck, regularly appears on the stage of some or other club. "I want to greet
as hippies did all around the world in the 70s!" he exclaims, raising his
arm. The fingers are clenched in fist, except for the index and middle
victory. The audience roars, arms raise. Then comes a narration about Soviet
times and the essence of Christianity, so convincing that towards the end
start chanting, "We are Orthodox! We are Orthodox!"
The church authorities are on the whole positive about the father's work
young people. He intends to open an Orthodox cultural center, where rock
musicians would also be able to perform.