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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/29/1997

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Russian Catholic Church Attracts Young Converts

On Saturday night, 17-year-old Marianna Nazarova will journey from the drab industrial suburb of Lyubertsy to the welcoming warmth of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in central Moscow. Though Orthodox Easter is still four weeks away for the vast majority of Russian believers, a small but growing flock of young faithful like Marianna will attend a Western Christian observance -- in Marianna's case, a Catholic mass. She and fellow Catholics will celebrate with traditional Easter cakes and eggs after the midnight service in the red-brick neo-Gothic kostyol, the Polish word for church that Russians use to mean a Catholic church. Though her great-grandfather was an Orthodox priest, she sees the Russian Orthodox Church as ""ritualistic"" and ""degenerating."" ""What I like about Catholics is that they take everything easy, not like in the Orthodox Church where you are constantly hassled by babushki,"" she says.

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