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Orthodox priests join Russian cops in fighting traffic violations

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gC50-LAQudrRwHPdN_7F9UFm6zaA Orthodox priests join Russian cops in fighting traffic violations 35 minutes
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2008
      http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gC50-LAQudrRwHPdN_7F9UFm6zaA

      Orthodox priests join Russian cops in fighting traffic violations

      35 minutes ago

      MOSCOW (AFP) — Orthodox priests are teaming up
      with Russian traffic police to lecture sinful
      drivers and even pour holy water on dangerous
      intersections, the Noviye Izvestia daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

      In the town of Kuznetsk in Russia's Penza region,
      700 kilometres (430 miles) southeast of Moscow,
      an Orthodox priest accompanies traffic police on
      patrols and gives violators spiritual advice instead of fines, the paper said.

      "The effect has exceeded all of our
      expectations," Sergei Logov, head of the Kuznetsk
      traffic police, was quoted as saying. He added
      that accidents had been reduced by a third since the programme began.

      Separately, in a campaign organised last month in
      the east Siberian city of Chita, priests gave
      drivers icons of St. Nicholas, considered to be the protector of travelers.

      Noviye Izvestia also reported that priests on
      Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula had
      sprinkled holy water at dangerous intersections
      as part of a road safety campaign called "You're
      Never Late for a Date with God."

      Religion is kept separate from the state under
      Russia's constitution but the historically
      dominant Orthodox Church has emerged as a
      powerful political force since the collapse of
      the officially atheist Soviet Union.
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