Service Symbolically Mends Relations Between Russian Orthodox Church and Members Abroad

May 15, 2004

Source: BBC News

On May 15, 2004 the BBC News reported, "Christians have attended an open-air service outside Moscow marking another step forward in improved relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Around 10,000 people gathered at the site of a former secret police base where thousands of people were executed under Soviet dictator Stalin for the service, conducted by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II. The liturgy at Butovo was also attended by the head of the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Laurus, who is on the first such visit since his church split from the Russian Orthodox Church after the Bolshevik Revolution. The two religious leaders laid the foundation stone for a brick church to be erected on the site in what Interfax news agency described as a 'symbol of the unified building' of the Russian church."