Author Topic: AJ: Evictions, trials as Russian Orthodox Church claims property  (Read 135 times)

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Offline Iconodule

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Valaam, Russia - Varvara Sergeeva's great-grandfather was among the tens of thousands of clerics, monks, nuns and believers executed by Communist iconoclasts in 1937. Pavel Orleansky had served as a deacon in the revered Orthodox Christian monastery on Valaam, the lake island just south of Finland.

Sergeeva learned about his fate from declassified KGB archives in 1988, when during the Perestroika reforms the USSR celebrated a millennium of Christianity in Russia.

Soon after graduating from high school, Sergeeva decided to get baptised and leave her native St Petersburg for Valaam to help revive the monastery.

"I felt absolute happiness. What was happening was unreal," says the stately, fair-haired 44-year-old at a cafe in St Petersburg. "It's a wonderful place, very pure, very vivid."

But in the past decade, Sergeeva and her son have faced a forced eviction from their Valaam apartment, an arson, confiscation of property, a string of lost trials and debilitating health problems, all as a result of the resurgence of the monastery and the Orthodox faith in Russia, and the Kremlin-backed restitution of religious property.

The rest here:
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum