Lipetsk parents sue sect, demand compensation

ITAR-TASS, Russian/February 13, 2007

Lipetsk -- Parents of the children in Russia's Lipetsk region have sued adepts of the Sovereign Mother of God sect, also known as Bogorodichny Center, demanding a compensation for moral damage, a teacher told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

On Monday, Lipetsk Levoberezhny court ruled on a 800-rouble fine to be paid by Bogorodichny Centerfor for administrative offense, Olga Zolotaryova, a teach of Lipetsk school # 38 said.

Several children were questioned at the hearing. Zolotaryova said the "schoolchildren who suffered from the sect are not only witnesses, but also the injured parties."

"They remain in a state of depression even now, two months after the incident," she said.

In December 2006, the sect adepts, as "mysteries anointed sovereigns of Graal," invited schoolchildren to the exhibition titled Solovki - Second Calvary. Instead of historic narratives, they began a sermon calling for creating "a new true church."

During "the lecture," one of the students felt ill, and the teacher called an ambulance. Another 17 schoolchildren later complained of headache, high temperature and general indisposition.

"The sect should be held responsible for it," Zolotaryova said.

In the course of an investigation, agents from the regional Federal Security Service department ascertained that the Bogorodichny Center missionaries had run this event, under the guise of an educational lesson.

Their organization, according to experts of the Russian Academy of Civil Service under the Russian president, is a destructive religious sect of pseudo Christian nature.

Law-enforcement personnel seized from sect adepts cult literatures, videos, posters, and leaflets during the probe. But the regional prosecutor’s office refused to open a criminal case, ruling that the incident was an administrative offense.

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