RT.com – 27/5/17
The Chelyabinsk Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church asked the prosecutor’s office to look into the “content side” of the All-Russia Festival of Colors for fear it could put “Russia’s national security” at risk and “disintegrate our people.”
According to the missions office of the diocese, the All-Russia Festival of Colors is formerly known as the ‘Holi Festival of Colors,’ and is dedicated to the Indian demoness Holika, who was burned at the stake.
“Apparently, taking into account the opinion of the Russian Orthodox Church and its negative attitude towards pagan, satanic activities, alien to our spiritual tradition and our culture, the organizers of the holiday maliciously made… a forgery, changing the name of the festival, trying to present it as innocent secular entertainment, fun for the youth.”
The missions office said it considers the Indian Holi holiday as a “form of ‘soft’ mediated proselytism, the serpent penetration of demonic practices into the soul of our people for the purpose of deformation and decomposition.”
“To avoid… trouble, it’s time to give this phenomenon a principled, including legal, assessment – not only at the regional, but also at the federal level,” the office said in a statement.
The festival’s page on VKontakte (VK) social network says the Festival of Colors is just a “mass event where teenagers communicate live, take photos, get acquainted, dance and spend their weekend,” with live DJs.
“We respect all religions, but we have NO relation whatsoever to any of them,” the organizers said on the festival’s VK page.
The annual festival is popular with school children and students, who listen to music, dance, and throw colored powder at each other, local broadcaster 31TV reported.
“The paint is safe, and is made from starch. It’s totally harmless and is easy to wash even with cold water,” Almaz Mukhametshin, the festival’s organizer, told the broadcaster.
The missions office has nonetheless called on the residents of Chelyabinsk, famously hit by a meteorite back in 2013, “not to succumb to spiritual provocations that will be carried out on our soil more than once, not only by the followers of the Eastern ‘spirituality,’ but also by representatives of other dangerous cults, trying to disintegrate our people from within, to strip it of its identity, spiritual support, with the help – free or involuntary – of irresponsible commercial structures.”
“The deceitfulness that accompanies the Festival of Colors… speaks volume of the character of the event and the lies of its organizers, trying at all costs to impose on our people, especially on the younger generation, alien values, hostile spirituality, and cash in on it,” the missions office said.
This is not the first time the Russian Orthodox Church has spoken out against the Holi Festival of Colors. In March, the Metropolitan of Chelyabinsk and Zlatoust, Nikodim, suggested banning the event in Russia. “What does the holiday really mean? It goes back to ancient occult practices in India, where the demoness Holi was burned, and her followers rubbed their bodies with the ashes of her corpse. Ask a normal person – do you want your son or your daughter to rub their face with the ashes of a human corpse?” Nikodim said, as cited by znak.com.
The All-Russia Festival of Colors will take place in various Russian cities over the weekend of May 27-28.