Russia strengthens presence in the Holy Land

Tommy on site at the center of Bethlehem – a clear demonstration of the fact that the impending construction – it is not so much economic as political.

Hectare of land donated by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) on the personal initiative of President Mahmoud Abbas, exactly one year later, in June 2012, will become the permanent address of the Russian cultural and business center. 

«There will be a chance to rest, those who come, and the opportunity to learn the history of our country, the history of our church will be circles of the Russian language, music centers, what is needed. If we want peace, we must come to the world. And believe me, this handsomely respond, I am absolutely convinced, „- says the chairman of the IOPS, Sergei Stepashin.

Returned, revived the historic Sergiev Compound in Jerusalem, a luxurious mansion-archaeological park complex in the ancient Mairihone and, finally, the construction of Bethlehem – all these events a year, visible signs of strengthening Russian presence in the land of the Covenant.

Bookmark cultural and business center in Bethlehem in the wall of David – special event, if only because so far Russia or return lost or restored historical ruins. Now lay the stone, a brand new building, and thus makes a new step Russia to the Holy Land. Mortgage cornerstone from which to begin the erection of a spacious two-storey buildings – the subject of history, a real artifact. Bricks with the stamp masters, taken from the clutches of the central Moscow offices of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, built 130 years ago.

“We are pleased that in Bethlehem there a place where very soon will be heard and studied the Russian language, will be performed by Russian songs and music, where they will perform the celebrated creative teams of Russia and, hence, our people will become even closer», – said the governor of Bethlehem, Abdel Fatah Hamail.

Opening the building, the Palestinian Authority made ​​it clear that would not mind, and against the creation of the West Bank Russian secondary school, for half a century ago, Russia came to the Holy Land has not yet monastery and monastic life, but schools and hospitals.

"In the XIX century, a chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, built a school, a Russian school, which became the first educational institution here, and in general throughout the Middle East. Then he picked up this initiative Bmperatorskoe Palestinian society, and the number of these schools before World War I amounted to one hundred units, "- says Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, Deputy Chairman of the IOPS.

Meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas – a mandatory part of the program, as it is for him asporyazheniyu Russia transferred or returned to the historic lands in the West Bank cities.

Of course, occurred not only for the exchange of gifts, greetings and addresses. It was about the geopolitical problems associated with the intention of the Palestinian leadership to achieve recognition of statehood as early as this September at the UN General Assembly. «Firstly, many positions expressed Abbas I to the head of state. Some of the staples leave, as you know. But Russia's position remains unchanged. We stand for something, it's time to recognize the State of Palestine. Unequivocal decision that in September they will raise the issue before the UN General Assembly. Especially, there are precedents – Kosovo.

»Here from the center of Russia, you can fly for 3.5 hours. To do this for almost three years there is no visa barriers. And the fact that half a century ago was given, as a feat of wandering, now only a matter of technique and desire, not diminishing for centuries willing to visit and see the Holy Land, where the presence of our country stronger today labors of society, church and state.

Holy Land