Church Names Patron Saint of Tax Police
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CHURCH NAMES PATRON SAINT OF TAX POLICE
December 1, 2000
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
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