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Russian Orthodox Church could launch TV channel

The Russian Orthodox Church is considering launching a terrestrial television channel as an alternative to the 'unclean content' of secular channels, a senior church official said in an interview published on Friday. Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk said a church channel - an idea that has long been discussed in the church community - would be able to attract a mass audience. "We have been cooperating with federal channels successfully, making films and programs on religious topics," the cleric told the Izvestia daily. "The Church has accumulated enough experience to be able to consider opening a nationwide channel," Metropolitan Kliment, the chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchy, told the paper. The cleric said the channel could show "quality" films which are featured at domestic film festivals, but never reach national television as they "cannot survive competition from films with unclean content that flood our screens." "A church channel would help filmmakers to show work that brings love and kindness to the viewing masses," Kliment said. He said a church channel could be similar to Russia's Kultura Channel, which broadcasts cultural news and programs, the paper said. The ROC is the largest of Eastern Orthodox churches numbering more than 135 million members worldwide and growing numerically since the demise of the officially atheist Soviet Union.

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