Tourism alarms Russian Orthodox Christian monks in Solovetsky Islands





Maria Smirnova barreled past the heavy granite walls of the 16th-century Solovetsky Monastery, blaring French hip-hop in her oversized truck to the consternation of the nearby monks whose long, black cloaks billowed in the northerly breeze.

Ms. Smirnova, 23, runs an adventure tour company on the Solovetsky Islands, an archipelago in the White Sea of northwestern Russia, about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Though growing in popularity, her business has roiled the monks and some residents, who accuse her of sullying the island’s religious traditions and ignoring its bloody past.



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