‘Christian State’: Meet The Hard-Core Russian Religious Activists Making Cinemas Tremble

In January, Andrei Alekseyev received a letter from religious activists warning that movie theaters like his “could burn” if they showed a forthcoming film about a romantic liaison of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who has been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The letter, signed by a group calling itself Christian State-Holy Rus, claimed to have members across Russia prepared to sacrifice their lives for its “true Orthodox Christian path” and said that showing the film, titled Matilda, could lead to bloodshed and “civil war.”