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Patriarch Kirill to consecrate an Orthodox church in Katyn on Sunday

July 15, 2012, 5:18 UTC+3
Katyn is the first international memorial built in Russia to commemorate the victims of totalitarian repressions
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

SMOLENSK, July 15 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will on Sundy consecrate a memorial Church of Christ’s Resurrection built near the Katyn memorial complex in the presence of Polish clergymen.

Katyn is the first international memorial built in Russia to commemorate the victims of totalitarian repressions.

In 1920-1940, the Katyn forest was a place of mass shootings. Up to 180 people were executed there every day. The Katyn forest near Smolensk became a grave for about 10,000 Soviet citizens executed by Stalin’s regime and 4,241 Polish officers, the inmates of the Kozelsk camp for prisoners-of-war, who were shot dead in the spring of 1940. Archbishop Seraphim of Smolensk and Dorogobuzh (Ostroumov) was also shot and buried in Katyn.

A church complex with a spiritual education center will open in the Russian section of the Katyn memorial where a ten-meter Orthodox cross has been installed.

Common graves with crosses, a memorial obelisk and a ritual ground with an altar and a bell are located in the Polish section.

The Church of Christ’s Resurrection was founded in 2010. The then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk attended the church’s ground-breaking ceremony on April 7, 2010.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski was supposed to attend the commemorative events in Katyn a few days later. However, his plane crashed when trying to land at a closed airfield near Smolensk in thick fog on April 10. All the 96 people onboard, including the president, died in the air crash.

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