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Russian Patriarch Kirill releasing white pigeons on the porch of the Annunciation Cathedral of the Kremlin in Moscow in April.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is "a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse."

Patriarch Kirill told a congregation at Kazan Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square on July 21 that such recognition "means people are choosing a path of self-destruction."

The patriarch criticized the states that have legalized same-sex marriage, saying that "some countries approve their choice in favor of sin and justify it by law."

Kirill also said he supports a ban on "homosexual propoganda" recently signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 but remains stigmatized in a country where the Orthodox Church still holds considerable influence.

Gay-rights parades are forbidden and activists have been brutally attacked.

Based on reporting by dpa, ITAR-TASS, and Interfax
Dodojon Atovulloev, a journalist and one of the leaders of Tajik opposition movement Vatandor, in a 2010 photo
A well-known Tajik opposition journalist has been denied entry at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

Officials at the airport told RFE/RL that journalist Dodojon Atovulloev was asked to buy a ticket to Prague, Czech Republic, the city he arrived from on July 15.

The airport officials did not elaborate on why the journalist was not allowed to enter Russia.

Tajik Deputy Prosecutor-General Abdurashid Kishvarzoda told RFE/RL that Tajik authorities have nothing to do with the situation.

Atovulloev, who has been living in the Russian capital for the last 20 years, survived an apparent assassination attempt last year.

He was stabbed several times in a Moscow restaurant.

Atovulloev believes the attack was connected with his journalistic activity.

Atovulloev is well-known for his reports criticizing Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and members of his family.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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