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    MOSCOW BUILDS 20 CHURCHES

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 26 (RIA NOVOSTI) - A total twenty houses of prayer are under construction in Moscow, said Konstantin Blazhenov, second in charge of the City Council board for contacts with religious communities, as he was addressing newsmen today.

    He highlighted construction, soon to finish, of two Russian Orthodox churches to be consecrated to St. Sergius of Radonezh and St. Innocent, and a Baptist church.

    Repairs and redecoration are coming to an end in synagogues in the city's heart and in Maryino, an outlying neighborhood. An Assyrian church is being repaired.

    Construction of a Buddhist temple, and of an Armenian cathedral and parish church will start quite soon.

    More than 700 houses of prayer are active in Moscow now - 600 of these, Russian Orthodox churches.

    Annual municipal allocations help to restore churches that have the status of architectural monuments. More than seventy have been repaired on such allocations by now. The six preceding years' municipal donations amounted to 300 million rubles, roughly ten million US dollars, said Mr. Blazhenov.

    Construction of a Krishna temple will soon start in the city's north. Its size will depend on the actual number of Krishna worshippers in Moscow. Many media outlets reported blueprints for a huge Krishna worship center. They were all wrong, said Vice-Mayor Mikhail Men.

    A previous Krishna temple was pulled down together with the entire block it was in, so the community was legally entitled to a land plot to build a new temple, explained Mr. Men, son of Father Alexander Men, renowned Russian Orthodox preacher and theologian who met a martyr death.

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