Category: Russia

Russia’s witches and wizards face ad ban to protect cancer victims

Russian MPs have backed a bill that bans anyone who calls themselves a witch or a wizard from advertising their services in the media in an effort to combat a controversial national obsession with the occult.

According to the Orthodox Church, Russia has 800,000 practitioners of the occult, many of whom advertise in newspaper small advertisements offering cures for alcoholism and spells to lift curses and return errant husbands for a fee.

One report claims almost one in five Russians have consulted occult €˜healers’ but MPs have warned they are risking their health and possibly their lives by trusting in such quackery.

Russian unorthodox: Alternative sects face discrimination in a post-Soviet system that was supposed to ensure religious freedom

The Latter-Day Saints, like a raft of other non-Orthodox faiths, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been labelled “totalitarian sects” by the Russian Orthodox Church, whose criticism is frequently tinged with nationalism. In the past decade, the Russian government has severely restricted the activities of these churches, whose followers routinely face harassment, discrimination and even detention.