Churches and Mosques Stand Side-by-Side in Grozny

July 26, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Russia Today

n Chechnya, mosques and churches are being restored after years of armed conflict. As life in the republic returns to normal, reviving the faith and trust between the two religious groups is seen by community leaders as an important task.

St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Cathedral in central Grozny looks new. For hundreds of Christians from the Chechen capital and surrounding communities it’s the only place where they can attend a service. In a republic which has a predominantly Muslim population there are very few places for them to worship.

Just three years ago the church lay in ruins. The roof was destroyed by bombs. People who came to pray had to stand in the pouring rain.

In the past decade, Chechnya has suffered two violent armed conflicts. They started with street clashes and grew into full-sized military operations. Dozens of buildings in the republic’s capital Grozny were destroyed as federal troops engaged in battles with militants.