Moscow, October 11 (Interfax) - Ivan Otrakovsky, the head of the Orthodox movement Svyataya Rus (Holy Rus), has suggested organizing sambo classes in churches to prepare believers to defend holy places.
"We propose to open sambo classes in every church," Otrakovsky said in a statement obtained in Interfax-Religion on Thursday.
Otrakovsky previously initiated the creation of voluntary Orthodox militia in Moscow and the Moscow region.
Otrakovsky's statement is a response to the media criticism of Hegumen Sergy (Rybko), father superior of several churches in Moscow, who issued instructions to parishioners of his church at Lazarevskoye Cemetery on how to prevent blasphemy.
"Due to the recent attacks on churches and the desecration of Orthodox holy places, I am asking you to pay attention to suspicious visitors. Take immediate measures if they have intentions to become rowdy, steal icons or holy relics, and especially attempt to enter the pulpit or the altar," the priest said in an announcement posted at the entrance to the church, according to the Orthodox newspaper Krestovsky Most.
The priest calls on people to loudly call for help, seek the assistance of security guards, and stop such people. "I give my blessing for the use of physical force," the hegumen said.