AP 08/29 1530 Soviet-Hare Krishna MOSCOW (AP) -- Police broke up a demonstration by about

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AP 08/29 1530 Soviet-Hare Krishna MOSCOW (AP) -- Police broke up a demonstration by about 100 Soviet Hare Krishna activists Saturday evening and took half of them away to police stations in buses and cars, members of the religious group said. Two of the activists, Lev Chernyak and Olga Kustriya, said the demonstration in front of the Moscow City Soviet lasted no more than five minutes before police waded in to disperse it. They said the group carried signs demanding that they be recognized by authorities as an official religious group and calling for freedom for Hare Krishnas they say are being held in jails or psychiatric hospitals for their beliefs. Ms. Kustriya said authorities released her quickly, but that she did not know how long others who were detained would be held. On Aug. 17, about a dozen Hare Krishnas were detained as they sang prayers on an outdoor shopping mall. Hare Krishnas say Soviet authorities prevent them from openly practicing their religion, which is an offshoot of Hinduism. Soviet law does not forbid the practicing of religion but requires that religious groups be registered with the state. The Hare Krishnas say authorities have refused to register them or failed to respond to their requests for registration. They say about 25 Hare Krishnas are being held in jails or psychiatric hospitals.

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