Priest Reaches Out to Moscow's Punk Rockers

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A Russian Orthodox priest is combing Moscow's club scene.  He's not doing it for the music. Instead, it's all about the message.

Father Sergei Rybko sticks out like a sore thumb among Moscow's hard-core punk rockers. In between bands, he takes the microphone and preaches. His message tonight is that everyone is alone until they've found God.

It is a tough crowd. But when he's finished speaking, a number of people approach him to hear more, like one pregnant singer.

"It has an influence on me and my band, without a doubt," she said.

Sergei tries to connect with the punk rockers by saying he, too, was once a rebel, 30 years ago, against Soviet communism ,as an anarchist and hippy.

"If what I say changes someone and brings them closer to God, then it's a successful evening," he explained.

Sergei's Russian Orthodox church is on the outskirts of Moscow. He allows the punk rockers to practice there.

"My job as a priest is to bring the light of Christ to the darkest basements," he said.

So he'll keep on reaching out to Moscow's club scene, believing if he doesn't no one else will.

*Originally published October 23, 2009. 

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Lorie  Johnson

Lorie Johnson

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