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Belarus: Why can’t derelict church be relocated for worship?

ICC Note:

“Officials in the Belarusian capital have refused to allow a derelict historic Pomore Old Believer church to be transferred from a remote northern village where no local Old Believers remain to serve the community in Minsk,” Forum 18 News Service reports.

By Olga Glace

1/14/2011 Belarus (Forum 18 News Service) – Officials in the Belarusian capital have refused to allow a derelict historic Pomore Old Believer church to be transferred from a remote northern village where no local Old Believers remain to serve the community in Minsk. Community leader Aleksandr Belov told Forum 18 News Service the relocation would give the Minsk community an affordable yet dignified place of worship, and at the same time preserve a part of their treasured heritage. He says the church is significant for them because “this is the church where our community has prayed”. Despite repeated calls, Forum 18 could not reach officials of the city Architecture Department, or the senior city religious affairs official. However, in a letter seen by Forum 18, the Architecture Department’s First Deputy Head, Aleksei Martynov, told the community that given that the church has to suit its environment, “we consider it inexpedient to transfer the wooden church to the urban environment of a big city like Minsk”.

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