Moscow Police Break up Pentecostal Protest Rally in Front of City Hall

Moscow, Russia - Moscow police have broken up a protest rally that the Pentecostal group Emmanuel was holding in front of the city administration building, Interfax news agency reported. Members of the sect blame policemen for “causing physical injuries” to the protestors, saying most of them were elderly.

City authorities gave the Pentecostal group permission to hold a rally at another site, but they moved towards the city hall in a bid to attract attention to their demands.

As local media reported earlier, Moscow officials banned the building of an Emmanuel prayer house in the Russian capital, although members of the religious group claim they received permission personally from the city’s mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. The protestors claim the ban has caused “damage of many millions and an invaluable spiritual injury” to their church.

The rally, held on Tuesday May 31, was the third protest by the group against the city authorities. Local police could not confirm whether any of the protestors had been injured.