Saturday, October 27, 2007

Russian Orthodox Church celebrates 160 years in the Holy Land

A sign leading to the Russian church in Jerusalem

October 27, 2007, 2:47
A recently completed Russion Orthodox Church overlooking Jerusalem will be inaugurated this weekend, on the 160th anniversary of the faith's presence in the Holy Land.

The opening of All Saints Church will be the climax of the celebrations. The Orthodox Church, reportedly located on the site where John the Baptist was born, was begun in 1890. But was abandoned because of the Russian Revolution.

In the heart of Jerusalem lies the Russian compound. The fortified building is all that remains of a portfolio of property bought by Imperial Moscow to accommodate the hundred thousand Russian Orthodox pilgrims who travelled to the Holy Land every year.

For many believers, it was a dream to visit the places of Christ at least once in a lifetime.

Welcoming the official opening of the new church, Patriarch Alexey II has sent a message applauding the close relationship between the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches.

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