200-Year Old Russian Church Stolen

November 14, 2008

Russian Orthodox Officials reported that a 200-year old Russian Church building has disappeared from a village in Central Russia. The building was situated near the village of Komarovo since 1809. The building was present in July but thieves have made away with the Church brick by brick somewhere in October.

An investigation is already underway as the local prosecutors have been informed. “We have sent a letter to local prosecutors,” said Father Vitaly. “Who exactly did this, the investigation will show.”

The disappearance of the Church was not immediately noticed. It was the Church of Resurrection that falls nearly 186 miles away on the north-east side of Moscow. It was an out of the way area and was not being constantly used. Now only some sections of the wall and the foundation of the building remain in the place where building once stood. The photo is available on the local diocese website.

The building is supposed to have been a school earlier that was later changed into a Church.

Thieves in Russia often target Churches in rural areas. The religious icons are sold and the church structures are sold as building materials. Thieves routinely make off with the church property in rural areas where unemployment, petty crime and alcoholism is widespread. “This is not an isolated case,” said Father Vitaly. “In many villages in central Russia sites of historical interest are being dismantled and people suffer by being deprived of their cultural heritage.”


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