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Church Names Patron Saint of Tax Police

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 386 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... CHURCH NAMES PATRON SAINT OF TAX POLICE Reuters
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2000
      NHNE News List
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      CHURCH NAMES PATRON SAINT OF TAX POLICE
      Reuters
      December 1, 2000

      http://news.excite.com/news/r/001201/08/odd-tax-dc

      MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Orthodox Church has named the apostle Matthew
      patron saint of the country's feared tax police, the Sevodnya newspaper
      reported on Thursday.

      Russian tax police -- known for storming buildings in black ski masks to
      conduct an audit -- have had something of a public relations problem, as did
      the widely despised Roman tax collectors, or "publicans," of biblical times.

      St Matthew himself was a publican, before giving up the profession to follow
      Jesus. In Matthew's book of the Bible, Jesus frequently lumps tax collectors
      along with prostitutes as being allowed to enter heaven if they accept God.

      Sevodnya quoted tax police spokesman Yury Tretyakov as saying the agency had
      won the support of the Church in part by helping to renovate a cathedral
      located in part on the territory of its headquarters.

      "It is not just a fashion statement, and we are not planning to make our
      heavenly protection into a cult," Sevodnya quoted him as saying.

      "It simply means that tax police will have another holiday, November 29, St
      Matthew's day."

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