The construction of the main temple of the Ministry of Defense began in the Patriot park near Moscow. It is expected that the cathedral, which should become one of the largest in the country, will receive the first parishioners as early as 2020. The construction site has been declared nationwide, more precisely, all-army. In mid-December, the Ministry of Defense announced that the donators voluntarily collected more than 2 billion rubles for a good cause. However, at the same time, information appeared that the military were forced to donate money to the temple on a mandatory basis.
The head of the military department Sergey Shoigu announced plans to build the main church of the Ministry of Defense in early September. The project was presented at the board of the Ministry of Defense under the loud title "The main temple of the Armed Forces of Russia." In fact, we are talking about the creation of a whole memorial complex in which it will be possible to pray and pay tribute to the memory of the dead defenders of the Fatherland. According to the ministry officials, the religious building should become a kind of "spiritual center." To this end, in addition to the church, the Ministry of Defense will build a whole complex, including a garden and a military history museum. In addition, here it is planned to train sisters of mercy.
Zampoliths are building the church
The project curator is the Main Military-Political Department. It is noteworthy that the Soviet analogue of this army structure once uncompromisingly fought religion. But the current political leaders are deeply religious people, so they even made a presentation of the project of the main temple of the Ministry of Defense in Venice. Why the idea to present a project in the framework of the Venice Architecture Biennale arose is not very clear - it is difficult to call a project an architectural masterpiece. However, why not a ride to Venice, since the trip pays the budget.
Religious complex in the park "Patriot" is planned to perform with a strategic scope. The temple should become the third largest Orthodox cathedral in the world, second only to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (height 103 meters) and St. Isaac's Cathedral (101.5 meters). Inside, four side chapels will be equipped, each of which will be dedicated to the saint, recognized as the patron saint of one of the armed services: Elijah the Prophet (aviation), Apostle Andrew the First-Called (fleet), Great Martyr Barbara (rocket troops) and Alexander Nevsky (infantry). At the same time, the appearance of the cathedral is puzzling to many. It was decided to build it in the monumental Byzantine style. However, it is planned to use glass windows and metal in the design of the facade, and paint the walls themselves in khaki color. As a result, some people compare the cathedral with a giant greenhouse, while others say that such a structure would be suitable as a decoration for some science fiction film.
Alexander PORENJIEV, expert of the Association of military political scientists:
- Forced collection of money for the construction of the main temple of the Armed Forces - the story is quite predictable. Of course, there were no written orders to raise money. Most likely, commanders are unofficially demanded to hand over a certain amount, and it is difficult for them to refuse. At the same time, it is noticeable that the Ministry of Defense is trying to distance itself as far as possible from the whole story with money. It is not by chance that a special charitable foundation has been created for the implementation of this project, which is led by representatives of public organizations.
However, as you know, there are no comrades to taste and color, and the decision of the commander in the army is a law for subordinates. However, other issues arise. Regimental temples existed in the Russian Empire, and the St. Nicholas-Epiphany Naval Cathedral was even built in St. Petersburg. But all of them were located, as a rule, in the central parts of cities. And it was decided to build the main cathedral of the Ministry of Defense in the country, in a park where there will obviously be neither an established flock, nor even a large number of parishioners - unless they are specially brought for the holiday. So is it worth the money that it decided to spend on it? Especially since the situation with the collection of money for construction is already beginning to take shape.
From 500 and up
How much will cost the construction of the temple, not reported. The Defense Ministry claims that the funds for the construction of the Orthodox Church "were collected by the whole world." Officially, it will be built at the expense of donations, and in the first place, the calculation was on the generosity of the military. To consolidate donations even created a special charity foundation "Resurrection". However, many people paid attention to how fast the fundraising was going. If in early November the amount of donations was 1.26 billion rubles, then on December 16, Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov, who oversees the construction at the Defense Ministry, said that more than 2 billion rubles had been collected for the church.
Well, maybe the whole thing in the discipline, organization and readiness for the victims characteristic of the military? Here are just experts noticed: on the website of the Ministry of Defense on the page with the list of donators there were 27 people who made the same amount of 12,254 rubles. How to explain this unanimity? Maybe an incoming order to hand over a certain amount? It was not possible to figure out, however: as soon as the strange fact became public, the list was promptly removed.
Then in military forums posts of servicemen began to appear, complaining that they were forcibly forced to donate money for the construction of the cathedral. In early December, more specific information emerged - the military from the Khabarovsk Territory wrote that they were collecting 500 rubles from the temple. Say, at first money was really collected on a voluntary basis. But soon the number of volunteers decreased, after which an unspoken order appeared to collect money from the lists. It is impossible to refuse contributions, voluntary donations are under strict control of the command. Moreover, even soldiers who profess a different faith could not get away from the contributions.
The General Director of the Resurrection Charitable Foundation, Alexander KANSHIN, in response to the appeal from Our Version, did not confirm the reports of cases of forced collection of donations:
- Over the past four months, charitable contributions from more than 50 thousand people and from about 300 different organizations have been received into the account of the Resurrection Fund.
There is a “hot line” in the fund, which has already received almost 100 thousand calls, and of them - not a single complaint, not a single signal about forcing to transfer funds for the construction of the temple. More than 150 representatives and volunteers of the foundation work in the regions of Russia, and there were no such appeals to them.
Officially, the military claim that they do not know anything about such facts. However, there were already quite a few cases when the Ministry of Defense completely denied what later turned out to be true. Meanwhile, experts remind that federal state bodies should not engage in the construction of churches, since, according to Article 14 of the Constitution, religious associations are separated from the state in Russia. In addition, not only Orthodox are serving in the army of the Russian Federation, and therefore the big question is whether to call the cathedral the main temple of the Armed Forces. Be that as it may, the initiative has already become a subject for jokes. Like, Peter I poured bells on the guns, and Sergei Shoigu - on the contrary ...
December 30, the media reported that the Pskov paratroopers were left without a New Year award. As a rule, the annual premium is a substantial amount, but this time the military found on their accounts ambitious receipts - at best 20 thousand rubles, at worst - less than a thousand. It was argued that the reduction of payments may be associated with the construction of the main temple of the armed forces. The first to report this was the publication of MBH Media by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. After the news was picked up by other media, the source was blocked by a court decision.