Russian Orthodox priests, nuns, and protesters displayed pictures of Jesus, crosses and banners in the Serbian capital city of Belgrade in a a bizarre ceremonial attempt to “purify” the city after a gay pride parade.
Hundreds of LGBT people and supporters – protected by 5,000 police officers – marched through the city for the annual Pride Parade.
It was the third consecutive year that the event has been successfully held in the city.
The demonstrators said they needed to “purify” the city after the “Sodom and Gomorrah” of the Pride Parade.
They said prayers, gave speeches and displayed banners with slogans including “Gay Shame Never in Public Life”, “Shame on You”, and “Nevermore”.
One priest said: “Why do they have to go public and parade? Why? I’ll tell you why. They want to recruit and to spoil the next generations.”
In 2010, the parade triggered an anti-gay riot in which right wing protesters fought with police, throwing petrol bombs and bricks and setting buildings and vehicles on fire. This is only the third consecutive year that the event has been successfully held in the city – in 2009, 2011 through to 2013, the marches were banned as the authorities said they could not protect the participants.