MOSCOW GOVERNMENT DEMANDS RUSSIAN BIBLE SOCIETY DEMOLISH ALL ITS WAREHOUSES WITHIN FIVE DAYS
Credo.Press, 19 September 2020
The head of the council of the Chertanovo Central district of Moscow sent to the Russian Bible Society on 16 September an order by 21 September (that is, in five days) "to carry out independently the demolition of objects" located on a plot of land rented by the society. In the opinion of the council, the lease on this land expired on 15 July. As a correspondent of the Credo.Press portal reports, the issue is warehouses in which the Russian Bible Society stores its publications, including translations of the Bible into the modern Russian language.
The letter contains an ultimatum, warning that if the Russian Bible Society does not demolish the warehouses, then this will be done by the state agency "Vehicular roads of the Southern Administrative District." Moreover the society will then be required to pay for these "services."
"Thus far, unfortunately, the interests of construction and development of infrastructure supersede the law and the interests of spiritual and moral development," the official blog of the RBS notes.
The letter was addressed to the executive director of the RBS, Anatoly Rudenko. The administration of this inter-confessional organization, which for many years was headed by Archpriest Alexander Borisov, includes a cleric of the Moscow diocese of the RPTsMP, the priest Vladimir Lapshin, as well as a number of representatives of the Evangelical Christians-Baptists. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 September 2020)
BIBLE UNDER THREAT
Website of Russian Bible Society, 4 June 2020
We want to share with you alarming news.
In the midst of the quarantine, the Russian Bible Society received a notification from the government of Moscow that our warehouses, in which about 150,000 books of Sacred Scripture are stored, will soon be demolished.
The reason—construction of the southeast bypass road in the city of Moscow.
All our appeals to the authorities concerning postponement of the demolition or the provision of alternative warehouses are thus far without result. Therefore the risk is great that by the end of June our publications will find themselves under the open sky.
Unfortunately, current interests of construction of Moscow and the development of the infrastructure of the city are again proving to be more important than eternal spiritual values.
Therefore we ask you to join our prayers for resolution of this problem. And that the Bible not suffer and that a new place for our warehouse will be convenient and familiar for you, our partners. If you have suggestions about the arrangement of storage of our books, which total around 200,000 copies a year, please send them immediately to us. (tr. by PDS, posted 20 September 2020)
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