8 February 2007
RUSSIA: WILL CHURCH AND MOSQUE DEMOLITION THREATS BE CARRIED OUT?
Local authorities in widely separated parts of Russia are demanding the demolition of several Protestant churches and mosques, Forum 18 News Service has noted. This follows an apparently unusual level of interest in their buildings' fire safety and other technical factors in recent months.
In one example, Glorification Pentecostal Church - which is threatened with demolition - in the central Siberian city of Abakan questions the validity of numerous claimed violations, such as a failure to keep the storage area under the staircase clear, as "the only thing present under the stairs during the fire safety inspection was a jar of gherkins," Forum 18 was told.
[I]n a positive development in Samara, a pre-1917 Belokrinitsa Old Believer Church has been regained by the corresponding local parish.