News (USA)

Russia detains pro-LGBTQ U.S. pastor, tells him to leave the country

MOSCOW (AP) — An American pastor who supports LGBT rights has been detained in Russia and ordered to leave the country.

Citing his lawyer, the Tass state news agency reported Sunday that 72-year-old pastor Jim Mulcahy of the Metropolitan Community Church has been fined the equivalent of $30 and given five days to leave Russia.

The Russian LGBT Network, a non-governmental organization, said in a Facebook post that Mulcahy was detained Saturday in an LGBT community center in the Volga River city of Samara.

His lawyer, Karina Artyunyan, told Tass a city court ruled that Mulcahy had violated the terms of his tourist visa by engaging in religious activities.

Russia has faced Western criticism for laws that have been used to restrict the rights both of minority religious groups and gays.

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