ENGLISH VERSION: Moscow Krishna temple plans spark squabble
‘‘It will be able to welcome 2,000 believers on festivals,’’ said the former biochemist who prefers to be called B.S. Goswami, the spiritual name that he took after joining the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In January, orthodox Muslim and Jewish religious authorities in Moscow spoke out against construction of the new Krishna centre, arguing it was against Russian tradition.
Tuneyev has yet to receive authorisation for construction of the temple. The ISKC was recognized as a religion in Russia in 1988. Today it says it has up to 100,000 followers throughout Russia.
Tuneyev greets visitors at his office in a small rose-brick building in northwest Moscow, with a portrait of Krishna as a backdrop, dressed in an orange robe, a clay line traced on his nose and a head shaved clean except for a small lock.
Tuneyev laughed at a demonstration this week of some 2,000 opponents of the centre. The demonstrators rallied in Pushkin Square in the centre of the capital, brandishing icons, flags and protest banners reading ‘‘friends, defend your faith’’. — (PTI)