"Public prayer was held in St. Petersburg on Thursday for motorists who had made the mandatory liability insurance payments on their cars.
The service in the Petropavlovsky Cathedral had been commissioned by Rosgosstrakh-Severo-Zapad, an insurance company. It included a memorial service for Russian Empress Catherine the Great, the founder of Russian insurance business, and a prayer for the health of all drivers and their relatives.
Marina Bogdanova, the insurance companys press secretary, was quoted by the Izvestia newspaper as saying that this is a joint long-term project. Such public prayers will be held regularly and not just in the Petropavlovsky Cathedral. She added that each person who purchased an insurance policy would be included in a special list to be mentioned in a prayer if he or she wished.
Drivers now receive insurance policies together with a little self-adhesive icon of St.Nicholas, a candle and a booklet about the prayer mentions. The icon is easily glued to the dashboard.
The company declined to answer how much it had paid to the church for these prayers, the paper wrote. Reverend Aleksander Fedorov who had performed the service, did not comment either.(snip)
"The Going Together youth movement held a rally on Sparrow Hills in Moscow on Friday to mark the inauguration of President Vladimir Putin and the organizations fourth anniversary"
"He recalled that since the movement was established four years ago it has held numerous actions aimed at drawing attention to the situation in Chechnya and on the Russian book market, as well as in support of the Russian Orthodox Church."
"Some 15,000 people took part in the rally"