Topic: Russian Church
The implementation of a program for the construction of 200 Orthodox churches in Moscow may take 10 to 20 years, Vladimir Resin, an advisor to the Moscow mayor and a State Duma deputy, told journalists.
"I think the whole program may take 10 to 20 years. It is important not only to build them, but also make them habitable," Resin said.
The program will take such a long time as the construction is being financed only by donations, he said.
"Our goal in implementing the program is to commission at least 10 [churches] a year," Resin said.
Seventeen sites for the construction of Orthodox churches will be allotted on the territories of industrial zones being liquidated in Moscow, Resin said.
The constructions of new churches in Moscow does not include historic churches closed by the Soviets and later returned to the Moscow Patriarchate, and are currently under restoration.
In Tsarist times travelers described Moscow as a "magic city glittering with thousands of golden domes." In the 17th century Moscow had around 900 churches. More than 1,000 churches existed at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
During the Soviet years many churches were closed and/or demolished, while many others were desecrated and used for other purposes such as warehouses and even swimming poorls.
In 1990 there were only 155 working Orthodox churches in Moscow. Today, there are about 320 Russian Orthodox churches in the Russian capital.
© Interfax and Royal Russia. 28 January, 2013