'Rock Music Is Evil': Russian Priest Anatoly Berestov

Russian Celibate Priest Anatoly Berestov recently gave an interview to the web site Credo.Ru in which he blamed rock music for the rise of Satanism in Russia, citing aggressive mass culture that has poured into Russia from the West since the beginning of the 1990s as being a factor in drug addiction.

Anatoly, a Doctor of Medical Sciences, believes that "Satanism is closely connected with people's lifestyles. We are now looking at the West, at the USA, and this trash basically comes from there."

Father Anatoly, who also chairs a center for the rehabilitation of people who have suffered from totalitarian sects and occults, dismissed efforts by rock bands who periodically come together under such slogans as "No Drugs" and "Rock Against Drugs," stating that such activities are nothing more than "open propaganda for drugs."

"As a doctor, and as a priest, I am certain that rock music is a straight road to drug addiction," Berestov said. "Those people who organize those shows do not actually realize that. Probably, they don't realize this on purpose."

In one incident cited in the article, a grave at a cemetery in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg was desecrated by alleged Satanists, according to the news agency New Region. A large piece of paper containing drawings of a pentagram and other satanic symbols was apparently found nailed to a gravestone, and it was surrounded by burnt candles and small, painted stones.

It is not clear if the perpetrators of the alleged crime were ever caught or if a connection with rock music was ever established by the investigative authorities.

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