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Russian Orthodox priest stabbed outside church

ICC Note: Russian media are on to something in attributing attacks on church leadership to a decline in moral standards.

3/4/07 Russia (Reuters) – A Russian Orthodox priest was stabbed in the neck outside his church in the city of Voronezh on Sunday, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

The attack in the south-western Russian city follows two violent deaths of Russian priests in recent months, which local media ascribed to a decline in moral standards.

The attacker stabbed Father Pyotr several times as he approached a church where he had been due to perform an evening service, Tass quoted local police as saying. The priest was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

In January, thieves killed a priest on the eve of the Russian Orthodox Christmas and stole religious artworks. In December, a priest and his children were burnt alive in their home.