MOSCOW, August 30 (Itar-Tass) – A total of 200 Orthodox churches are expected to be built in Moscow’s residential areas.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov took a decision to this effect on Monday.
The patriarch thanked the Moscow authorities for meeting the interests of Orthodox believers. He said, “According to our data, in Mordovia there is one church per 3,000 people while in Moscow there is one church per 37,700 people, almost per 40,000 people.”
Patriarch Kirill also cited another statistics: 89.19 percent of the population of Moscow is Orthodox believers. These are Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Moldovans, Ossets, Georgians, Chuvashes and others. “On the average – 11,200 people for one parish – Moscow is needed 591 churches,” the patriarch said.
Despite the fact that the “Project-200” envisions about 20 percent of Orthodox believers “it is necessary to meet the population’s needs by increasing the number of churches. This is a minimum that Moscow needs”, His Holiness said.
Moscow chief architect Alexander Kuzmin presented several projects to build five-dome or one-dome churches per 300-500 people and less spacious ones.
According to the architect, “now we are working on selecting areas. Firstly, we have 51 sites where the lots are selected: the key problem is how to register these lots. Secondly, there are 50 areas, which are linked with natural complexes. And thirdly, there are lots that should be confiscated because they are third party property. I hope that till the yearend we will know the sites for 200 churches.”