Week of protests against building church produces results


Interfax-Religiia, 22 May 2019


Data from a VTsIOM [All-Russian Center for Study of Public Opinion] survey, showing that a majority of residents of Ekaterinburg are opposed to the construction of a church in a park, give reason not to consider this option any more, the governor of Sverdlovsk oblast, Evgeny Kuivashev, wrote on his Instagram account.


"I think that the data published by VTsIOM give the basis for excluding the park near the Drama Theatre from the list of possible sites for locating the church of St. Catherine. I am sending to the head of Ekaterinburg, Alexander Vysokinsky, a request not to include this square in the list of places in conducting the survey. We have passed through this conflict and it is exhausted. We must together find a new site for the church," the governor thinks.


As reported, according to VTsIOM data, published on Wednesday, 58 percent of those questioned think that the church should not be built in the park.


"To the direct question whether the park near the Drama Theatre is an appropriate or inappropriate site for construction of the church, only 10% supported the choice of the site, and a majority of residents of Ekaterinburg (74%) characterized this place as inappropriate," the VTsIOM report says.


Overall, 18% of residents of the city oppose construction of the church and 7% think that the church should be built in the park near the Drama Theatre in accordance with the project that was originally developed. Another 14% think that this church can be built in the park "on the condition that the project is adjusted by taking the opinions of citizen into account."


The survey was conducted 16-20 May among 3,000 responders 18 and older.


Since 13 May mass protests have been held against the construction of the cathedral of St. Catherine on October Square in the center of the city, where at the present time there is a park. They began after a fence was erected in the park, enclosing the site of the planned construction.


After a week of protests and arrests, and also a view of what was happening expressed by President Vladimir Putin, the governor of Sverdlovsk oblast, Evgeny Kuibashev, on 18 May sent to residents of Ekaterinburg a request to discuss alternative areas for building the church. On 20 May the administration of Ekaterinburg announced the collection of suggestions of citizens on possible areas for building the church, which will continue for ten days. The fence around the park was demolished. (tr. by PDS, posted 22 May 2019)

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