Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Memorial Church with Sepulchre for Russians Who Fell in 1990s Yugoslavian Civil War Projected in Serbia


Archimandrite Chrisostom, Igumen of the Reževići Monastery in Montenegro (Crna Gora), proposed building a church in Ćuprija with a sepulchre for the remains of Russian volunteers killed in the civil war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He told VOR, “So far, it’s just a project of Belgrade architect Dragan Antonijević. We suggested building it in Ćuprija, where the relics of Holy King Lazar Hrebeljanović are. The first local diocese there started in Horreum Margi, in Roman times; its bishop took part in the First Ecumenical Council. We’re planning to build a sepulchre in the lower part of the church, to put to rest the remains of those who fulfilled Christ’s commandment, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. After the time of the USSR, many came to Bosnia and Kosovo to fight alongside their Serb brothers. When many Serbs fled to America, Canada, and Australia, others came here, who weren’t obliged, to suffer for their Slavic brothers and the Orthodox faith. They fought because of their personal convictions; they believed that they had an obligation to help their brothers”.

It’s unclear how they’re going to finance the construction. We asked Fr Chrisostom if anyone has promised any funds. He said, “At present, there’s no money, but we hope for God’s help. It all starts with prayer. God willing, we’ll be able to give their bones a resting place”. Asked how much time it may take to build the church, Fr Chrisostom explained, “That would depend on many things. We could do it in a year’s time. However, most importantly, we should do it with prayer and love. In this, we should remember the words of Holy Bishop Nikolaj Velimirović, ‘You build churches, but you don’t pray to God’. That means that we must accompany any church-building with prayer”. He believes that the Serbian authorities wouldn’t have any objection to the project, saying, “There’s no reason why they shouldn’t support this project. It’s necessary to choose a proper place and buy the land, and, then, we might begin to perform our sacred duty to our Russian brothers”. We have unofficial reports that some parties in the MP are aware of this project; officially, the MP hasn’t received notice of it yet.

At the end of the interview, Fr Chrisostom wished VOR’s listeners and readers, “Repentance, comfort, and hope”. He asked them to pray for some SPC priests in Montenegro whom the National Security Agency in Podgorica denied permission to regularise their legal status for unknown reasons, thus depriving them of the right to serve liturgy in SPC parishes in Montenegro.

12 September 2012

Igor Goykovich

Voice of Russia World Service



Editor’s Note:

This sounds legit… VOR is, after all, a state-run service, that is, you’re dealing with an arm of the Russian state. I don’t have any further information on this. Therefore, I suggest those who wish to help in the building of such a memorial church for those who fell in the defence of the Orthosphere should contact VOR directly.

Their snail mail is:

Voice of Russia

25 Pyatnitskaya St

Moscow 115326


E-mail: world@ruvr.ru

Refer to the URL of the article, and ask for contact information for the memorial church project. As Russian Orthodox Christians, we have an obligation to see to it that those who fell in the defence of the Orthosphere and Holy Orthodoxy have a proper and fitting burial place and memorial. If one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked. God willing, someone will be able to help in this…



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