When Communism fell in Eastern Europe, Russia, the largest country in the world occupying a sixth of the entire earth’s land mass, had fewer than 7,000 churches. Priests had been killed, nuns and lay believers imprisoned and many thought that the church was dead. Only 22 monasteries, a place where theological training often takes place, were left with only skeleton staffs.
Since 1991 the Russian church has been rebuilding and those secret house churches that operated illegally have stepped out of hiding and into the mainstream as their church properties are slowly returned, community by community.
Today there are over 35,000 operating churches and over a thousand monasteries. In the 20 year period since the fall of communism 23,000 Orthodox churches were rebuilt across Russia, many having been destroyed totally or in ruins after being confiscated and used for almost every use from museums to warehouses to barns.
We love this beautiful old church in Moscow and are so grateful that it will not only receive a new life of it’s own, but reclaim the role of sharing new life with new generations.