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Residents Protest Plans To Build Church On Pond In Yekaterinburg

Residents of the Russian city of Yekaterinburg have protested plans to build a Russian Orthodox church in the middle of a large pond.

At least 100 people joined hands and walked around Verkhne-Isetsky pond on February 23 to protest the planned construction of the St. Catherine Church.

On February 21, construction workers placed poles in the ice on the pond to mark the site where the church is to be built.

Protesters say the church will make the picturesque pond less attractive and contend that it is not needed.

A police officer prevented the protesters from gathering in the middle of the pond and asked them not to chant any slogans.

The Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a major revival since the communist Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and many churches have been restored or newly built.

Church construction plans have sometimes faced opposition from Russians who want to preserve open spaces in their cities.

More than two-thirds of Russia's people identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, but only a small fraction regularly go to church.

Based on reporting by and

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