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Russia’s Inter-Religious Council prepares vestries for 2014 Winter Olympics

December 13, 2013, 14:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of religious denominations have completed the fitting out of vestries at the three Olympic villages for the winter games in Sochi, officials of the Inter-Religious Council of Russia told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“Each facility will have five rooms - Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian, with sections for Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants,” Reverend Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for communications between the Church and society told Itar-Tass.

Duty clerics assigned to the facilities and volunteer assistants will be located at the vestries to answer visitors’ questions, to hand out brochures on the history of various religions and inter-religious dialogue in Russia, and to show videos.

Delegates assembled as the council meeting noted successful collaboration with the Sochi organizing committee in setting up prayer facilities at the villages.

Building work nears completion at the Russian Orthodox cathedral of the Holy Image of the Saviour Not Made by Hands, close to the Olympic Park.

Ornamentation is in full swing as 30 graduates from leading Russian arts colleges prepare icons and frescoes. These will cover almost 2,500 square meters by early January.

The new church will be a central element of the St. John the Forerunner’s Inn compound. This will have a center of culture and history to accommodate theological and research conferences and lectures and a museum of the history of Christianity.

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