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World News

Russian priest finds very unconventional way of drenching congregation with holy water

by Premier Journalist

A Russian priest has hit the headlines after unveiling a rather unconventional method of covering his congregation with holy water. The unnamed clergyman, clearly fed up with sprinkling each parishioner one at a time, was caught on camera dousing the entire congregation with water using a power hose. 

The footage has been widely shared on social media, though the identity of the priest in question remains unknown. Responding to the bizarre clip, The Russian Orthodox insisted that there was "no scandal" regarding the minister's actions. 

Church official Vakhtang Kipshidze said of the incident: "At Epiphany, people are sprinkled by holy water. How it is done is a technical detail, a matter of taste.

"There is no scandal. Sprinkling believers at Epiphany is a normal practice.

"Exactly how depends on the particular priest, and his relationship with parishioners. 

"If it is perceived by them as normal, then I don't see a problem here."

By comparison, this sprinkling was pretty tame -- many Russians at Epiphany opt for complete immersion within the ice holes of frozen lakes or rivers with air temperatures plummeting to around minus 50C.

Plus, this isn't the first time that odd methods have been adopted to ensure every churchgoer gets the holy water administered to them. In 2013, footage emerged of a Mexican priest spraying his congregation with a pump-action water gun.

One Russian priest, Fr Alexander Goryachev, boards a plane every September and "love-bomb" cities with blessings. Last year, he doused the city of Tver with 70 litres of specially-sanctified water in a bid to cleanse it of unrighteousness. 

"I want my prayers to protect the city from the afflictions befalling it, from all accidents and social adversity," he said at the time, insisting that one alcoholic man gave up drink after seeing the plane fly overhead. 

Addressing those who have mocked him in the media, the priest said: 

"Laugh if you must, you'll live longer. But what are you laughing at? Our efforts to help people heal themselves and stop drinking, taking drugs and fornicating?

"Let them laugh, but it won't stop us doing our job."

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