Dating and marrage in perm russia

As they chat over cucumber sandwiches and black tea, he dispenses relationship advice mixed with church teachings.

The ethereal chants that had for two hours entranced a standing congregation still echoed off the intricately painted walls as Father Aleksy Gomonov retreated to the sacristy to remove his vestments.

She wore a head covering, like most of the women present, though the policy is not strictly enforced on club nights. "Perhaps I'll meet someone who's not connected to the church and I'll accept him -- but it's likely he'll be Orthodox." Then she laughed, adding, "I just think no one else can handle me." Gomonov insists it was never meant as a lonely hearts club. But those who attend the Peter and Fevronia Club and others like it popping up across Russia say they seek something they won't find elsewhere.

Beyond the chance to find a soulmate with an Orthodox worldview, such gatherings offer an alternative religious experience to the somber services held daily at Moscow's churches.

Few outwardly tolerate homosexuality, which is unequivocally denounced by the ultraconservative church.

But at the Peter and Fevronia Club, most profess fealty to at least one rule of Orthodox dating: no sex before marriage.

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