June 8, 1996 |
There is only one way good Christians can stop the evil stalking their land, Father Alexander Shergunov believes. They must go to the polls in Russia's presidential election next Sunday--and vote Communist. "Evil is growing. Communism is not the worst evil," Shergunov argues. His eyes burn above a thin black beard as he repeats the sermon he preaches regularly to his Russian Orthodox congregation.
January 26, 1996 |
Nearly 78 years after Bolsheviks executed Czar Nicholas II and his family, the relics of Russia's last royal family retain the power to haunt. A government commission appointed to identify and inter the remains of the Romanovs has become fearful of declaring the bones--unearthed in 1991 near the execution site in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg--those of the slain imperial family.
January 8, 1996 |
The choir sang in a bare, chilly nook; the altar leaned against an ugly scaffold tangle; and priestly robes swished along a plain concrete floor. But the dignitaries celebrating the Russian Orthodox Christmas on Sunday in Moscow's most ambitious construction project pronounced the atmosphere fittingly festive--even inspiring.
October 8, 1994 |
If one piece of real estate symbolizes the struggle for Russia's soul, it is a 984-foot-wide pit by the Moscow River not far from the Kremlin. Until last week, when construction workers fenced it off and drained it, the place was a complex of outdoor swimming pools. But that was only one chapter in a bizarre history now coming full circle. In Chapter One, the world's largest Orthodox cathedral stood there.
March 17, 1994 |
It is below zero outdoors and so chilly in the cathedral that the 300 worshipers stand bundled in overcoats. With each prayer, chanted in Old Slavonic, their breaths fog the air like puffs of incense. Yet the place has a resplendent aura of warmth. On every wall, ceiling and arch, saints gaze from icons and angels flutter from frescoes. Hundreds of candles burn at shrines in all corners. On this Sunday, a dozen priests, deacons and altar boys celebrate a four-hour Mass.
November 23, 1993 |
At the Tretyakov Gallery's department of antiquities, they were already past the first stage of mourning--denial--and were well into anger. "This is just crime," said a resentful Valentina Ukhanova, senior research associate at the gallery's department of ancient Russian art. "It could happen only in Russia." If Ukhanova and her colleagues at this country's leading gallery of Russian art were sounding as if someone dear to them had passed on, that is not surprising. For on Nov.
October 1, 1993 |
Representatives of President Boris N. Yeltsin and the leadership of the Russian Parliament early today reached a tentative agreement to end the siege of the Parliament building in return for the disarming of extremist guards inside, according to news reports here. The reports, quoting Yeltsin's chief of staff, Sergei A. Filatov, said that the government had agreed to partially restore electricity and communications to the besieged Parliament if its guards put aside their weapons.
July 18, 1993 |
Seventy-five years after their last czar was cut down in a hail of bullets, Russians this weekend recalled Nicholas II's coldblooded murder and wrestled with the departed autocrat's checkered legacy. In the Ural Mountains city of Ekaterinburg, where on orders from V.I. Lenin the last of the Romanovs were shot in a cellar by Bolshevik gunmen on the night of July 16-17, 1918, mourners wept as hymns were sung and prayers said for the dead.
July 15, 1993 |
Russia's lawmakers, heeding the warnings of alarmed Orthodox clerics and outraged nationalists, passed a law Wednesday restricting independent preaching, the seeking of converts and religious advertising by foreigners on Russian soil. Under the law, evangelist Billy Graham, a Roman Catholic archbishop sent by Pope John Paul II or a visiting Orthodox clergyman from America will have to seek a license from the Russian government before preaching the Gospel here, the Izvestia newspaper said.