Tom Hanks to be Featured on Posters Promoting Christianity in Russia

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Tom Hanks

A youth Orthodox movement plans to use his image and quote alongside those of local celebrities.

MOSCOW -- Tom Hanks is to appear on posters promoting Orthodox Christianity in Russia and neighboring states alongside prominent local cultural and sports figures.

The Russian Orthodox youth movement Soboryane said it is launching a massive poster campaign during a missionary event entitled “My Pravoslavnye” (“We Are Orthodox Christians”) on October 13 and 14 in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

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Posters depicting high-profile personalities, including Hanks, and featuring quotes from them in support of Christianity have already been circulating on Russian social networking websites and in the local media.

Among local celebrities featured on posters are director Nikita Mikhalkov, actors Dmitry Dyuzhev and Yegor Beroyev, rock musicians Konstantin Kinchev and Yuri Shevchuk, actor and musician Pyotr Mamonov, singer Sofia Rotaru and boxer Nikolai Valuyev, as well as Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Yuri Gagarin.

The poster featuring Hanks has his quote taken from an interview the actor gave the Russian newspaper Argumenty I Fakty back in 2009. “I realize how important and beautiful it is to have the opportunity to go to church and reflect on important questions that Orthodox Christianity asks you and answers it offers,” it reads in translation back to English.

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Meanwhile, the campaign is still “in the approval stage,” Andrei Vorontsov, the movement’s chairman, was quoted as saying by the Russian wire service RIA Novosti. “If we don’t get approval for a person, the respective poster won’t take part in the campaign.” He wouldn’t specify if any of the celebrities have already given their approval to be featured on the posters.