MOSCOW – The Russian Orthodox Church has called for more tests on the remains of Russia's last czar and his family to determine whether body parts unearthed eight years ago are those of two of their children.
Nicholas II, Alexandra and their five children were executed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks. Remains identified as the parents and three children were interred in 1998. Remains identified as the other two children were found in 2007, but plans to bury them this year were put on hold at the request of the church.
The church has canonized the family, so worshipping false relics would be sacrilege.
Vladimir Legoyda, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate, said Friday that the church was insisting on more genetic testing but also wanted the assessments of historians and anthropologists.