Voices from Russia

Monday, 31 December 2012

Hollywood Russian Orthodox Parish’s Altar Artefacts Stolen

Transfiguration Cathedral. Los Angeles CA


Members of a Russian Orthodox parish in Hollywood pray that the suspect that stole dozens of religious artefacts from their church altar, including the communion chalice, will return the sacred items before they celebrate traditional Christmas services on 7 January. Detectives with the LAPD’s Hollywood station are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect who burglarised the church at 5432 Fernwood Avenue on 22 December. A police statement said, “An unknown individual entered Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Church, gained access to the altar room, and stole numerous religious artefacts”. Police said that the perps stole 37 items, including ornate crosses and chalices for communion.

A member of the church, who gave her name only as Lebedeff, said, “The community’s very upset. We’re praying for the man who did it. We’re praying for this man, that he’ll feel guilt and bring them back”. This Russian Orthodox parish follows the Julian calendar, which means that it celebrates Christmas on 7 January. Holy Transfiguration has been in LA for more than 70 years, Ms Lebedeff said, noting, “We really never had any kind of theft. It was a complete shock to us, to know that someone had come onto an altar, where no one should be walking. It’s intimidating. It’s like someone coming into your home”. Lebedeff said the congregation came to church 23 December and noticed that the altar appeared desecrated, stating, “This person has no conscience. We’re just hoping he realises that, for his soul’s sake, he’s hurt so many people”. Detectives with the LAPD’s Hollywood station are requesting that anyone with information related to this incident contact them at (213) 972 2931. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at (1-800) 222 8477.

Susan Abram

Los Angeles Daily News

30 December 2012


Editor’s Note:

Ms Abrams obviously had no clue that she was talking to a member of the rector’s clan, who’s Alexander Lebedeff. As no age for the interlocutor was given, we don’t know if it was Lebedeff’s wife or a younger family member. Nonetheless, Lebedeff saw to it that the reporter got a “reliable” story… that is, he saw to it that the reporter only heard what he wanted her to hear. It’s just another normal day in the life of a First Family apparatchik…



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