Orthodox America

  The Cry of the New Martyrs -  Who  is to restore the churches?

       ...This return of churches is not motivated by repentance on the part of the authorities---otherwise they would themselves be paying for the restoration of what they have brought to ruin. Moreover, there is no guarantee that this return is "forever"

       I think believers are aware of this. Neverthless, they sincerely rejoice at the newly acquired holy sites, although their joy is often clouded by despair over their inability to reconstruct the ruins. Enormous sums of money are needed....The matter is further complicated by the chronic Soviet deficits: if there are nails, there is no paint; if there's paint, there are no nails, and more often then not neither is to be had. Believers turn for help to their brothers in the faith there in the homeland. Help is forthcoming, but even this is often not enough. Then they turn to their Orthodox brethren abroad...

       Our faith assures us that the reconstruction of churches is a God-pleasing endeavor which must be carried out no matter what awaits the Church in the long run. Concerning practical steps, the transfer of money from abroad into the bank account of the official Church is least effective. Ultimately, the greater part of this foreign currency is sure to end up in the government's coffers. It seems to me that the best means of assistance from the West would be direct contact with parishes, sending them books, personal visits of parishes, gifts of various types of electronic technology (tape recorders, cassettes, etc.) which can either be used directly in the church or exchanged for funds to be used in the church's restoration. Consultations with specialists--architects---would be especially valuable.

       Whatever the relationship of the official Church and the Soviet government, the Christian temple by its very nature is one of the strongholds in the warfare with the godless powers of communism.

Sergei Sazhin (Translated from Possev, Frankfurt, November 1989)