Siberian Orthodox believers vent anger at vodka sold in chapel-shaped bottles

Siberian Orthodox believers vent anger at vodka sold in chapel-shaped bottles
A distillery in a Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk has upset local believers after it began bottling vodka in vessels reminiscent of a landmark 19th-century Orthodox chapel.

Ceramic bottles produced in the form of the well-known Paraskeva Pyatnitsa chapel, which is also an unofficial symbol of Krasnoyarsk, went on sale in the Siberian city this week, local media reports.

The bottle, which sells at around $40, features a cap hidden under the golden dome sitting on a greenish ‘roof.’

Photos of the new vodka brand quickly spread across the internet, with many users lashing out at what the bottle looked like. While some complained it offended their faith, others suggested that the diocese should take action against the merchandise.

The Krasnoyarsk clergy, for their part, refused to comment on the story, but a church spokesman said some kind of legal action might follow. Under Russian law, public actions aimed at “insulting religious beliefs” are considered a criminal offense and could see offenders imprisoned for up to three years.

Meanwhile, the Krasnoyarsk distillery which bottles the infamous vodka, said there was nothing incriminating about their new product. Chapel-shaped bottles have been sold for several years and they serve to reproduce the symbol of the city, not to offend someone, a company spokesman told Interfax.

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Paraskeva Pyatnitsa chapel was named after a Christian saint often portrayed as an ascetic figure wearing the red of martyrdom. It is one of the best-known landmarks of Krasnoyarsk, home to over 1 million people. It is situated on Karaulnaya mountain overlooking the city.

As well as the chapel, several bridges crossing the Yenisey River are also regarded as unofficial symbols of Krasnoyarsk.

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