Some 15,000 Orthodox Christian pilgrims carried crosses, drank holy water and prayed on Friday at a hill in eastern Poland they believe to be sacred in a colourful celebration of their faith and identity in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.
The Moscow government has selected 200 land sites to build Russian Orthodox churches, First Vice Mayor Vladimir Resin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.
"Land sites have been picked for 200 churches already and construction is underway on 19," Resin said.
The construction is being funded by non-budgetary sources, on donations being accumulated in a special fund, he added.
On August 20, 2011, His Beatitude Ignatios IV, Patriarch of Great Antioch and All the East, received in audience Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, who came to Syria for a working visit with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. In a warm and cordial talk, which took place at the Patriarchate of Antioch, they discussed the bilateral relations between the two Patriarchates and some topical problems concerning the life of Universal Orthodoxy.
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, a Russian Orthodox Church delegation led by Archbishop Mark of Yegorievsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s office for institutions abroad, visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for celebrations marking the 5th anniversary of the consecration of the Trinity Church in Pyongyang.
Russian state and Russian Orthodox Church began a cooperative project of building of the 200 new churches in Moscow, says the website Orthodoxy and the World. This is the largest joint venture in Russia's recent history.
The preparation of documentation, determination of construction sites, construction coordination and regulation of methods of financing the construction are in progress. To run this project, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has appointed Bishop Tikhon of Podole, who is also the president of the Financial Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate.