In mid-December 2007, a group of Orthodox residents of the city on the Volga River complained to prosecutors, the governor and the local bishop about the world-famous beverage company's "blasphemous ads."
The believers said the advertizing posters showed the crosses on the domes of various well-known churches in the city, as well as views of the local Kremlin.
"Coca-Cola uses all these Orthodox symbols in a blasphemous way by placing images of Coca-Cola bottles inside the pictures," the letter complained. "Some [church] images are deliberately turned upside down, including the crosses."
An inverted cross is one of the symbols of Satanism.
The Orthodox believers demanded that the posters be removed and Coca-Cola brought to trial for "inciting religious hatred and undermining national dignity."
In December, Coca-Cola representatives said the company strictly complied with ethical norms and its adverts were an appeal to safeguard cultural monuments.
However, a company statement on Monday said that "guided by the principles of responsible marketing, we have made a decision to remove refrigerators depicting Orthodox churches in Nizhny Novgorod, and all similar images will be shortly replaced by others."
Another case of the controversial marriage of fast-food and religion occurred in Britain in the mid-1990s, when the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral in London was illuminated with an advert for Cadbury's chocolate bar "Wispa". The company was allowed to put up the advert after paying for restoration work to the cathedral's Whispering Gallery.