Zombies ‘invade’ St Petersburg, Christian group outraged

Hundreds of young people dressed as zombies came out on the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia for the city’s annual “Zombie Walk.” Meanwhile, Orthodox Christian activists called for the event to be banned.

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The participants of the zombie flashmob gathered in the city’s Sosnovka Park on Saturday and began the event by invading the park and looking for “survivors,” who “defended” themselves with mock weapons and paintball guns. This was the seventh such event to take place in the city. 

Makeup artists rallied to the site, helping dressed participants to turn themselves into characters out of their worst nightmares.

Zombie fever caught on in Russian youth culture, with walks staged in Birobidzhan, Rostov-on-Don and Nizhny Novgorod this summer - and more planned in Khabarovsk and Novosibirsk in the autumn.

However, there is strong opposition to such events from a number of Christian activists, who describe zombie gatherings as harming the minds of minors and “popularizing death.” The Narodnij Sbor group has called for such walks to be banned. 

“I would not want to advocate the ideology of death. There are a lot of children committing suicide in the city,” the head of the group, Anatoliy Artyuh, told Rosbalt news agency. According to Artyuh, there are too many evil spirits out there as it is.  

The Orthodox group said it will film the event and then let experts decide whether the flashmob is a healthy thing for society. The group intends to call for an outright ban of such events.

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However, the Zombie Walk organizer, called Martin, said he is not worried. “If they want to come and film, let them. We are not asking anyone for money or trying to gain popularity. If someone things we are advocating something, let them prove it, try to sue us, but I am afraid they will lose.”

As to those who may try to block the young zombie invasion, they will “try talking with them,” the organizers say. Given the rules of the game, which implies the “zombies” must moan in gibberish, those protesting against the event should really hope there are some “survivors” left.

Zombie Walks, which some treat as a form of carnival culture missing in the modern consumer world, have been gaining popularity around the world. They originated in North America and then quickly spread to countries in Europe, as well as to Latin American nations such as Argentina and Chile.

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