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Russian Church trying to attract regional governors to setting up Orthodox Christian bank

January 20, 2015, 9:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The main distinctive feature the Orthodox Christian bank will have is that it won’t issue loans or open deposits, the chief of Moscow Patriarchate’s department for communications Vsevolod Chaplin says

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Vsevolod Chaplin

Vsevolod Chaplin

© ITAR-TASS/Yury Mashkov

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. The chief of Moscow Patriarchate’s department for communications between the Church and Society, Vsevolod Chaplin, has called on the governors of the Belgorod, Kemerovo and Pskov regions, the constituent republic of Mariy-El and the Stavropol territory to take part in the setting up of the Orthodox Christian financial system and an Orthodox Christian bank, Izvestia daily said on Tuesday.

The editorial office said it had copies of the letters Chaplin had sent to the regional governors.

“I sent out letters to the governors who are known for a big number of initiatives on supporting the Orthodox Christian way of life,” he told the reporter.

One of the things that Chaplin asked the regional leaders for was to provide organizational assistance to the effort and to invite the Orthodox business community to join the momentous project.

“The main distinctive feature the Orthodox Christian bank will have is that it won’t issue loans or open deposits,” he said. “Its main objective will be to act as a mediator between Orthodox investors. Hopefully, the Orthodox bankers will offer to form the banking capitals on the basis of gold in the future.”

Absence of interest rates should become the main principle and asset of an Orthodox banking institution. The concept proposed by Chaplin says bonuses from investments in joint projects should depend on the profitability of an enterprise.

Along with this, the future Orthodox bank will be forbidden to engage in any operations not aimed at creating the real public wealth or to provide funding for the spheres standing at variance with the ethical principles of Russian Orthodoxy, like gambling, tobacco production, seductive entertainments, the activities related to drugs and so on, Chaplin’s letters say.

Dmitry Surmilo, the head of Moscow Patriarchate’s workgroup for setting up the Orthodox Christian financial system, told Izvestia the case in hand at the moment is a pilot project that could be tested in several Russian regions.

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