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    REGIONAL GOVERNOR IN KAZAKHSTAN DONATES FOR ORTHODOX CHURCH CONSTRUCTION

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    ASTANA, JANUARY 18 (RIA Novosti correspondent Alisher Niyazov) - Shalbai Kulmakhanov, Governor of the Almaty Region, in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, has donated 100,000 tenge (about 700 dollars, on current rates) from his personal savings for the construction of an Orthodox cathedral in the city of Taldykorgan.

    As local media reported Sunday, Kulmakhanov made the donation after Grigory Smurygin, superior priest of John the Baptist's Cathedral in Taldykorgan, had appealed to the community to contribute to the project.

    "Unfortunately, I may not allocate funds from the treasury coffers, but I am making a personal contribution, from myself and on behalf of my family," the governor said as he was offering the money to the clergy.

    The construction project, launched in 2003, relies entirely on public contributions. The walls of the new church have been erected with 140,000 bricks provided by the community. The project's total costs have been estimated at 170,000 dollars.

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