Orthodox Church asks Russian women to dress modestly

January 20, 2011

russian orthodoxRussian feminists have expressed outrage after the country’s increasingly powerful Orthodox Church proposed an official dress code to ensure that women dress more modestly.

A top Church official, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, called for the code in a letter in which he said: “Either scantily clad or painted like a clown, a woman who counts on meeting men on the street, in the metro or a bar not only risks running into a drunken idiot but will meet men with no self-respect.”

(Photo: An Orthodox priest leads an Epiphany day celebration in Moscow January 19, 2011/Denis Sinyakov)

Chaplin, who heads the Church’s department for relations with society, said last month that women in mini-skirts were to blame if raped as they “provoke men.”

“The Kremlin has given the Church carte blanche to lead their own ideological campaigns,” renowned Russian feminist and writer Maria Arbatova told Reuters. The Russian group “For Feminism” said on their website that they had collected 1,738 signatures in their petition against the dress-code, which they will send to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

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