The Case of the Disappearing Church

Last year there was a sad story of a synagogue in Tajikistan that had to be destroyed because the government wanted to build a bigger palace.  This year, a weirder story about a Russian church that disappeared in October when villagers from nearby dismantled the building and apparently sold the bricks to a developer.St._Patriarch_Tikhon.JPG

Russian Orthodox church stolen–brick by brick
The Associated Press
Thursday, November 13, 2008; 8:31 PMMOSCOW — Wanted: One missing Russian church. Last seen in July. Reward for its return. Orthodox officials in a central Russian region say an abandoned church building that was to be put back into use has been stolen by local villagers.

Orthodox priest Vitaly of the Ivanovo-Voskresenskaya diocese said officials last saw the two-story Church of Resurrection intact in late July. Sometime in early October, however, people from the nearby village of Komarovo, northeast of Moscow, dismantled the building, he said.

Villagers apparently sold it to a local businessman, one ruble (about 4 cents) per brick, Vitaly said. Orthodox priests use only one name.

“Of course, this is blasphemy,” he told The Associated Press. “These people have to realize they committed a grave sin.”

Full story

Talk about a losing faith…

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