Russian Navy Day Festivities to Nix Unchristian Characters
Russian Navy Day Festivities to Nix Unchristian Characters – Reports
© RIA Novosti. Igor Zarembo
MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, will
reportedly no longer be appearing at Russian Navy Day celebrations
because the Orthodox Church, the strongest religion in the country, has
protested against pagan characters at such events.
Offending religious believers is a crime in Russia since last month.
Violators face up to three years in prison.
Pagan beings that were not aboard Noah’s Arc do not belong “at a
celebration of an Orthodox Christian navy,” a Church representative told
the armed forces branch, according to a military spokesman cited by
Navy Day, commonly referred to as Neptune’s Day, has been celebrated on
the last Sunday of July since 1939. Festivities have usually featured a
costume show including the Roman god accompanied by mermaids, mermen and
But the imps were noticeably absent from Neptune’s entourage at a
Pacific Fleet celebration in Vladivostok last Sunday, local news site
The article linked the imps’ disappearance to recent protests by local
Orthodox Christians, who opposed similar shows during Fisherman’s Day on
July 14, saying it offended their religious sentiment.
The Navy’s press service, as well as that of the Russian Orthodox
Church, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The Church in recent years has been expanding its presence in many
spheres of Russian life, including the military, which has recently
re-allowed priests to provide services to soldiers following a
near-century of absence under the Soviet Union.
The Church has also found a strong ally in the Kremlin, with President
Vladimir Putin opting for an increasingly conservative domestic policy
since his re-election last year.