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    MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The "Apostles of Our Time" exhibition dealing with the Russian Orthodox Church's missionary activities between the 17th century and the early 20th century opened at the local Novodevichy convent, which is a subsidiary of the State History Museum.

    Missionary activities of the New Age served to continue to apostolic feat of Christ's disciples, who instilled the light of the new faith among pagan nations, an official at the State History Museum's press center noted.

    The exhibition at the Novodevichy convent is timed to coincide with the celebration of the days of Slavic alphabet and culture at the end of May.

    The exhibition features pictures, lithographs, maps, as well as ethnographic sources and documents, personal effects, autographs, church attire and utensils; many of them have never been displayed before.

    These diverse materials, which are organized in line with the history-and-geography principle, unravel the gradual process of Christianizing the Russian empire's nations, also highlighting various specifics of missionary work and that of Orthodox Christian missions, the press-center staffer added.

    Various exhibits highlighting worship for Siberian shrines, as well as pictures and sculptures of Siberian and Far Eastern natives, are bound to attract everyone's attention, the source noted.

    Those flocking to the exhibition will see the portraits of prominent missionaries, also admiring their original letters and works, as well as unique early 20th century reindeer-fir bishop attire (that was sewn on the Kamchatka Peninsula). Moreover, the exhibition features a mammoth-ivory mitre, which was carved out by a Koryak artisan in 1916. (The Koryaks are a small nation living in north-eastern Russia on the Arctic Ocean coast - Ed.) The Yaroslavl state history-architecture and artistic museum-preserve, as well as the Perm and Irkutsk regional-history museums, took an active part in organizing this exhibition.

    The exhibition will last until January 15, 2005.

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