Final Scene of Wagner’s Tannhäuser
Alexander Novopashin, prior of Novosibirsk’s Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, has been awarded an Extremism Prevention pin and a Service to the Motherland medal, second degree, as reported on the cathedral’s site and an official legal information website.
According to the text of the March 23 decree, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Novopashin received the Service to the Motherland medal, second degree, for “successes achieved in his career, many years of diligent work, and active involvement in public life.”
Earlier, on March 21, the archpriest was awarded the pin of the Main Directorate for Extremism Prevention. As reported on the site of Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the priest has worked on the problem of totalitarian sects for over twenty years. He argues that contemporary sectarianism is one form of the extremist movement.
As the noted on the cathedral’s site, “The priest stresses that extremism has many faces. Today it is manifested not only in the form of totalitarian sects but also in the increasing aggression of ultraliberals, sexual perverts marching with flags in the streets of our cities, illegal pseudo-cultural stunts in the form of exhibitions, theater performances, etc., designed not only to shock the audience but also to humiliate and insult the human dignity and religious sentiments of believers.”
According to online publication Taiga.info, Novopashin has appealed to parishioners to attend a rally in downtown Novosibirsk on March 29 and demand the banning of the opera Tannhäuser at the local opera theater. The official theme of the rally is “responsibility of the authorities for offending the feelings of believers.” The declared number of participants is three thousand people.