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You're reading: Butyrka prison now helping to spread Russian orthodoxy

On the one hand, as archivists note, records for many of the Orthodox priests who were sent to their deaths by the Communist Party’s anti-religious policy say only that they were first confined in “a Moscow prison,” without giving further details. Many of these undoubtedly passed through one of the 434 rooms of the Butyrka.

And on the other, as Archpriest Gleb Kaleda, the first post-Soviet pastor at the Moscow prison pointed out, “if we canonized all the new Russian martyrs, then the Russian Orthodox Church would have more saints than do all the other Orthodox churches in the world taken together.”

But today, thanks to the efforts of the ten Orthodox priests whom the late Patriarch Aleksii II appointed, the jail has become “a forge of cadres” for the Church, with many of the prisoners there become advocates for opening new Orthodox congregations in other parts of the Russian penitentiary system (www.pravmir.ru/tyurma-novomuchenikov/).

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