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Packing Heat, Rosaries: Priests Bear Arms to Protect Churches

Thieves are figuring if they're already committing a sin, they might as well go large. A recent spate of church robberies is forcing some Russian priests to consider bearing arms to protect their religious icons. One such attack inside the Golden Ring in Russia (near Moscow, with long historical ties to orthodox Christianity) ended with thieves holding a priest at automatic gunpoint while they relieved the church of its prized medieval icon.

The brains behind the Glocks for Jesus plan? The police. Acknowledging that abysmal area roads would make responding to calls for help too little, too late, the authorities have advised priests to apply for licenses and carry firearms. The thieves know the police can't get to churches in time and have taken to using off-road vehicles. This combined with rising drug and alcohol addictions, fuel the thieves' quests for the valuable pieces and also makes them more violent.

The diocese does not see carrying guns as a solution, and according to a spokesman the plan is fundamentally flawed. "Of course it's nonsense for priests to have a gun. . . there must be a state program to protect churches. It is not only up to the church to defend itself because this is everyone's heritage."


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i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
That sucks... people need to have respect for something. This society is getting to be very vigilante-esque.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
Why shouldn't they have arms? Defending the church is a worthy cause, and I agree with Syako about Russia probably being involved with it in the first place. Also, the only thing I was ever good at in soccer was being the goalie, so don't feel badly about being physically challenged! ;-)
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
lol syako don't we always.
syako syako 9 years
and we've gone completely OFF TOPIC! Ha. From religious icons to drooling over boys and burgers. Very nice.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
soccer, rugby, basketball, atletics tournaments were the bet. They were all outside and I can still smell the hamburers being grilled for sale and the icecream men with the sundae cups. Ok now I'm hungry
syako syako 9 years
oooh yeah, that's why I kept playing through high school. SOCCER TOURNAMENTS! After our games we would drool over all the hotties. hehehe.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Syako to say I am physically challenged is an understatement, the only thing I ever did was field hockey and that was because I wasn't afraid of being hit by the ball or stick. I just love soccer cos of my dad and my sister was the high school soccer star and the hot men don't hurt either.
syako syako 9 years
do you play? I play on a woman's league, it's so fun we're all a bunch of 20-30 year olds running around on the field every sunday.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Syako-she definitely made it interesting especially since she wa a devout convert to Catholicism and her husband was a complete and total atheist. It was one of the greatest moments in football for me, Liverpool defeating Chelsea yet aain in the Champion's League semi-final. I loved it and I loved Pepe Reina for saving those goals.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 9 years
This is a very sad story, however, I have to say I'm a bit disgusted at the last sentence though. "Of course it's nonsense for priests to have a gun. . . there must be a state program to protect churches. It is not only up to the church to defend itself because this is everyone's heritage." My reply would be: "It's not everyone's heritage. It's Christian heritage. Please, quit pretending Russia is a theocracy. Yes, the police should be protecting their citizens, however, that is not always feasible and you have an obligation to take measures to protect yourself as well. Quit shunning responsibility and take some. K. Thx. Bai."
syako syako 9 years
your new avatar makes me want to go outside and play soccer! woop woop!!
syako syako 9 years
the quirky ones are alway the best - they keep things interesting.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Oh yeah she had a whole list with pentecostal churches under avoid at all costs lol. Orthodox, Judaism were her top picks, we actually spent a whole term studying the Jewish religion we had a rabbi come in, once a week we even celebrated passover and had the whole passover seder. To say she wa quirky is an understatement but every kid she ver taught still talks and loves her.
syako syako 9 years
They told you that?! :rotfl: that's hilarious!
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
LOL syako. I really love Catholic and Orthodox churches, they are so beautiful. The most beautiful church I've ever seen is at y mom's rural areas. It's just breathtaking and there is this stue of mary built into the wall and surrounded by flowers andeverythign it's like a grtto, i love it. I remember my confirmation telling us that if we ever had to convert from Catholicism the Orthodox religion was excellent lol.
syako syako 9 years
They are beautiful. We went to Kiev over Christmas and I went to Lavra (the monetary I mention in my first comment) and my husband's crazy fanatic godmother made me kiss all of the icons, it was strange, but a neat experience.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
The Orthodox icons are so so beautiful.
syako syako 9 years
nyar - I agree - the thieves will get theirs.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Who wants to break the 7th commandment in a church??
Beauty Beauty 9 years
Sting is behind this?!? Sorry, I can never resist making a Sting joke.
syako syako 9 years
*not = now Istanbul. duh. And no problem citizen, my husband was born/raised in Kiev and his parents/family are adamant Ukrainians and Orthodox Christians so I have mucho knowledge on the subject.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Descrating holy ground will only lead to troubles in your life good luck to the thieves.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
Hi Syako, Thanks for the comment--I took that nugget from the original story, but I can see its more complicated than their description. Thanks for the eagle eye!
syako syako 9 years
citizen this is not accurate "Golden Ring in Russia (near Moscow where orthodox Christianity took root in the 10th century)" Orthodox for the Slavic people began in Kiev, Ukraine on the Dnieper river in the caves of the Lavra monestary. Orthodox Christianity as a whole actually started in Constantinople, not Istanbul. Also, if it's Russia it's probably the police that have a hand in the robberies anyway - sorry but that's my cynicism.
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