Saturday, February 15, 2014

Update on Antarctic church

(RBTH) - An Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity located at the Russian Antarctic station Bellingshausen will be sanctified on Friday, the press service for the Research Institute for the Arctic and Antarctic has reported.

The church turns 10 on February 14, the press service reported. The polar explorers from the Russian Antarctic expedition suggested the creation of an Orthodox chapel back in the late 1990s. That offer was upheld and an Orthodox church was build at the station.

The construction of the church began in fall 2001 in Altai. The main materials used in its construction were cedar and larch, which do not rot. The Research Institute for the Arctic and Antarctic said the disassembled church was taken to Bellingshausen Station in early 2003.

The chapel was sanctified in 2004.

"Monks from the Holy Trinity Lavra have served there since then. They combine their high spiritual service with work at the Bellingshausen Station, and they do all the work that they have to do. A lot of things happed in this most southern Orthodox church on the planet in these ten years. It was visited by the presidents of several countries of Latin America, the Spanish king, the chairman of the Russian Federal Assembly, many deputies of the Russian State Duma, ministers, and heads of the federal services of Russia," the report says. A Chilean man and a Russian woman, who had married in Chile, were married in the church several years ago, the report said.

A delegation led by Bishop of Naryan-Mar Iakov has left for the Antarctic to sanctify the church, the Research Institute for the Arctic and Antarctic reported. Holy relics taken to Antarctic from Russia will be placed in the church's altar.

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