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Homophobic Incident At Riga Anglican Church






RIGA, April 10, 2006  Ė  The Latvian State Police has started a criminal investigation following a homophobic incident at the Anglican Church of Riga yesterday (April 9).

Two drunken Ďskinheadsí entered the Anglican Church during the Open Evangelical Congregationís service and disrupted the religious meeting.

Following the requests by the congregation not to disturb the service and leave the church, the two skinheads are said to have attacked one of the congregationís members.

Maris Sants said that the injuries were not serious.

The parish board said today that this is not the first incident of disturbance during their service and they believe the radical organisations are responsible for this and previous incidents.

Every Sunday evening, members of the Open Evangelical Congregation hold a service in the Anglican Church.

It is led by Maris Sants, a former priest of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church (LELC) who as excommunicated by the LELC after he publicly admitted he was gay.

Following his excommunication from the LELC he organised an Open Evangelical Congregation which is open to all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  The Congregationís services are being held at the Anglican Church of Riga.

Last July the Church hosted a service during the first LGBT Pride March in the Latvian capital, when Riga police fought with thousands of anti-gay protesters in a bid to protect the 200 people taking part in the Pride parade.

Following this service and support to LGBT people, another priest, Juris Calitis, was excommunicated by the LELC but still holds his position within the Anglican Church.



  Riga Pride 2006 website (in English)

Posted: 10 April 2006 at 17:30 (UK time)