American pastor expelled from Russia in LGBT case

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AP Photo

MOSCOW (AP) -- Jim Mulcahy was sitting with some Russian friends, munching cookies and talking about Roman mosaics, when the Russian police came and took him away, claiming he was planning to perform a same-sex marriage. Hours later, the American pastor was ordered to leave Russia.

Mulcahy's arrest this month in the city of Samara braids together several of Russia's most acrimonious issues: gay rights, alleged Western meddling in Russian affairs, and missionary work by religions that don't have state approval. It attracted particular attention because the arrest was filmed by state-controlled channel NTV, whose reports often take an especially truculent, pro-Kremlin stance.

The 72-year-old Mulcahy, originally from Boston, looks back on the nervous hours in the Samara police station with stoic bemusement.

"I wasn't afraid; I felt like this was something I had to endure," he told The Associated Press by telephone from his home in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.

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