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Patriarch Kirill consecrates church-monument in Katyn

July 15, 2012, 10:26 UTC+3

The church was founded in 2010 with the participation of Vladimir Putin and Donald Tusk

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KATYN, July 15 (Itar-Tass) ——Servicemen of the Russian Army and of the Polish Army united on Sunday at Katyn during the opening ceremony of the temple-monument at the memorial on the site of mass executions. The great consecration of the Church of Christ's Resurrection has made by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

Soldiers and members of the children's scout organizations lined up in honour guard at the church. The temple was built at the entrance to the memorial complex. The church was founded in 2010 with the participation of Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Poland’s Chairman of the Council of Ministers Donald Tusk.

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 centre 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 is 40 metres high. Its dome is made of gilded copper what makes the Church dominating element over the memorial. Adjacent to the Church are museums and education centres, Sunday school, library, archive, and conference hall, as well as pilgrims shelters, canteen, and a range of utility premises, including power sub-station. There is also a bell tower and a park in surrounding area.

The Russian Orthodox Church plans to erect temples in all places of former mass executions.

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