Moscow's Chief Rabbi

A reader provides some background:

"A word about the current "Chief Rabbi" of Moscow:  he is a representative of the Chabad-Lubavitch hasidic sect.  They are a curious beast indeed. Many - probably most--of them believe that their late leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (now dead about 10 years) was the messiah, and expect him to "return".  This is not, let us say, a mainstream Jewish belief.

Anyhow, they have insinuated themselves into Russian Jewry through a combination of vigorous outreach and getting into bed with Putin, which is how an American-born rabbi like Berl Lazar ended up as the "chief rabbi" of Moscow.  Not that there aren't also plenty of conventional Orthodox Jews who share their basic attitudes towards homosexuality and homosexuals. But by and large, the Chabad folks are really way out there on just about every issue. They also are hard core creationists, for instance, which is not the case with mainstream Orthodox Judaism (or at least it didn't used to be--the "mainstream" seems to move rightward every day). Oh, and at the risk of greatly simplifying some very obscure kabalistic concepts, they also believe that non-Jews have "souls" that are basically Satanic in character. Nice, huh?"

This sounds not unlike what has happened to Christianity in parts of America - hijacked by the most extreme and intolerant.