The head of a Russian branch of Christianity backed by Putin has said that shaving makes you gay.
Metropolitan Kornily, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church, said men should stop shaving to “protect themselves from homosexuality,” according to The Moscow Times.
The leader, whose denomination broke off from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666, continued to explain that beards had some sort of magical anti-gay power.
Kornily said men who had beards were less likely to be “corrupted” and engage in same-sex relationships.
“God set down certain rules. The Lord created everyone with a beard,” he said.
“No man can resist his creator.
“It’s made a monstrous thing to see men’s clothing and hairstyles changing,” Kornily added.
The religious leader also decried the fact that the beard’s apparently special status had “completely disappeared from the Catholic West.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Kornily earlier this year to discuss the Church and “prospects for its development,” according to the president’s website.
Putin almost always appears in public with a clean-shaven face.
It is not clear what Kornily makes of this fact.
And while he said nothing specifically about women, you have to assume Kornily has the same facial hair-related stance for other genders.
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A survey last month slightly contradicted Kornily’s stance, as it found that gay men are more likely to be attracted to men with more facial hair.
Meanwhile, the shocking persecution of gay men in Chechnya continues.
Unsurprisingly given the attitude to LGBT people in the wider Russian Federation, protests from citizens, governments and international bodies have fallen on deaf ears.
The Kremlin initially said there was no “reliable information” about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, later adding that investigators found “no evidence” of the purge.
Russian authorities went on to reportedly detain 17 young activists who had been protesting in St Petersberg on May Day against the events in Chechnya.
The country finally agreed to investigate the allegations of homophobic persecution in Chechnya in May.
But just a few weeks later, Russia’s foreign minister denied all reports of a gay purge in Chechnya, saying “there is not a single concrete fact” to show it is happening.
And last week, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson admitted he didn’t bother to bring up the persecution of gay men in Chechnya during meetings with Russian officials.