A man’s insistence that it is his religious right to wear a colander on his head has strained his relationship with the Russian government.
Andrei Filin is the latest ‘Pastafarian’ to win the right to wear a colander for his official driver’s licence photos.
Leave it to Russia to find a creative way to lay down the law though.
The deputy chief of Moscow’s State Traffic inspectorate, Vladimir Kuzin, told Russian that Mr Filin’s victory for the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster comes with a catch.
“The next time he is stopped by the traffic police, if he doesn’t have a pasta strainer on his head, his licence will be taken from him,” Mr Kuzin said.
Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – or Pastafarians – have been pushing around for the right to wear colanders on their heads in official photographs for years.
An Australian man’s stoush with Victoria government workers went viral last year when staff insisted he remove the colander for his licence snaps.
“It actually says on your website that religious headwear is allowed in licence photos,” Benjamin Ady argued to nonplussed officials at Carlton.
“Do you have anything against my particular religion? So you would allow Muslims, for instance, but not Pastafarians?”
And so the argument has run in licensing offices around the globe for the better part of a decade now.
While Russia has found an equally sarcastic way to fight back against the movement, FSM followers in other countries have been more successful.
Last month the New Zealand branch of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster convinced lawmakers to allow them to conduct weddings.
A year early a Kiwi known only as Russell became the first New Zealander to wear the colander in his driver’s licence photo.
Others around the world have also faced motor registry cameras wearing the cooking implement as well.
Not that any of them really care that much about spaghetti.
They just see it as a method of demanding equality for heretics and heathens of all stripes, while poking fun at organised religion.
Followers worship the monster, insist he created the world 6000 years ago in a 'drunken fit'. Adherents speak like pirates, wear colanders on their heads and have even devised their own versions of the Lord’s Prayer.
Bobby Henderson, the man credited with first describing the creature, also penned his own Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The church sprung to prominence about a decade ago when Henderson penned an open letter lambasting creationism.
The push for Pastafarian rights gathered pace shortly afterwards in the mid-2000s in response to efforts to impose creationist Intelligent Design classes on high school students as alternatives to science lessons.
The argument for the monster’s divinity, which is similar to Bertrand Russell’s famous Cosmic Teapot, says the world must be ruled by a flying monster made from spaghetti, because no one can prove otherwise.
It is the latest incarnation of the argument, which has long been used to refute religious arguments for existence of gods.
Evolutionary biologist and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins regularly invokes the Flying Spaghetti Monster in his arguments.