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    Religious leaders in Russia criticize Madonna concert act

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    Leaders of Russia's Christian and Muslim communities joined counterparts around the world Tuesday in voicing their disapproval of a controversial section in Madonna's current world tour.

    MOSCOW, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of Russia's Christian and Muslim communities joined counterparts around the world Tuesday in voicing their disapproval of a controversial section in Madonna's current world tour.

    The American diva is touring to promote her tenth album, 'Confessions on a Dance Floor,' and is apparently crucified during her concerts on a giant cross studded with small mirrors, which attracted particular criticism from Catholic leaders during a show this week in Italy.

    The Russian Orthodox Church did not recommend believers to attend Madonna's concert Monday.

    "For an Orthodox believer there is no point of attending her [Madonna's] concerts or helping her propagate her spiritual problems via self-advertisement," said Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Moscow Patriarchy's department for external relations.

    Damir Gizatullin, deputy head of Russia's Council of Muftis, said Tuesday: "This is in conflict with the traditions of our people. Such things do not do credit to people like Madonna."

    Gizatullin said Muslims respected the traditions pursued by people in Russia and religious feelings of Christian believers.

    "I believe Islam believers in Russia will not support Madonna's show, and she will not be a success here contrary to her expectations," he said.

    Another Muslim official, Rushan Abbyasov, said people in a democratic country had the right to choose.

    "But practicing Muslims will, of course, not go to Madonna's concert," he said, adding that Islam did not encourage women appearing on stage in an improper manner.

    But Chaplin of the Moscow Patriarchy acknowledged the singer's talent and spiritual excruciations Monday.

    Chaplin also said Madonna was using Christian symbols to justify her "message" and added that in his opinion Madonna needed moral support and consolation.

    A total of 200 metric tons of Madonna's stage equipment will arrive in Moscow in 57 trucks. The singer will be accompanied by a staff of 200 and will perform onstage with a team of 27 people. The stage will be set up in front of the huge Moscow University building on a hill overlooking the capital.

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