Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Russian Orthodox Buildings in Jerusalem to be Repurchased

Two wealthy Russian businessmen have agreed to help the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society purchase the Hostel of St. Sergius and the old headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem from the Israeli government, which currently uses them to house the Ministry of Agriculture and various other agencies.

The properties were expropriated from the original Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission under the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and given to the Moscow Patriarchate, which under Soviet pressure allowed them to be sold to Israel in exchange for a shipment of oranges.

An agreement has already been reached in principle with the Israeli government and it is hoped that the properties will be legally returned to the Russian Orthodox Church sometime in 2012. More here.

Pictured is St. Sergius' Hostel, which currently houses the Ministry of Agriculture.

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