H/T High Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub. From the Freethinker:
A PARADE of Pastafarians in Moscow at the weekend was violently broken up by police assisted by Russian Orthodox religious activists.
Moscow police told RIA Novosti that eight Pastafarians were detained for “attempting to hold an unsanctioned rally” in the city.
Followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster planned to hold a “pasta procession” in Moscow and St Petersburg to honour the birthday of Robert De Niro, who once played a character named Noodle in the movieOnce Upon A Time in America.
The “pasta procession” in Moscow was disrupted by the Orthodox activist group Bozhaya Volya, or God’s Will, who sprayed ketchup on the march’s participants. The Orthodox group has held demonstrations against homosexuality, the punk rock group Pussy Riot, and the Darwin Natural History Museum.
Moscow police dispersed the marchers, claiming the procession was not sanctioned by authorities.
One Pastafarian wrote on a social networking website:
We were detained for simply walking. In particular, I was taken in for [having] a sieve on my head.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster came into being thanks to a sarcastic letter Bobby Henderson sent to the Kansas Board of Education over the teaching of Intelligent Design in 2005. Pastafarians believe the theory of gravity is a hoax. Things stay on the ground rather than float away because the invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster holds them down with his noodly appendages.
Earlier this month, Russia enacted a law that makes “insulting the religious sensitivities of believers” a crime.