Serbien: New Russian-Serbian foundation restoring churches

A new Russian-Serbian foundation is ready to begin working in Serbia, restoring an Orthodox church and arranging the transfer of relics from Russia to Serbia for Holy Pascha. The head of the new foundation, Natalia Shatilina, is already known in Serbia as a representative of the Russian Bells organization, with whom she worked with the blessing of the leadership of both the Russian and Serbian Churches. And after 15 years of such public activity, the new Russian-Serbian Foundation for Culture and Heritage was registered in Belgrade last month, and they are ready to begin working at a new level, Shatilina told RIA-Novosti. With its official registration, the foundation will more easily attract benefactors for projects lacking in funds, Shatilina explained.

The foundation has already sent a letter to the Serbian Patriarchate, proposing its patronage in restoring or completing a church within the Serbian Patriarchate. The Church and foundation will work together to decide which church to work on. “This should be our first project after the foundation’s opening,” the director said. “We also informed the leadership of the SPC that by Pascha we will again bring relics from Russia, pieces of the relics of Russian saints, as the previous two times, this year from St. Petersburg.”

The foundation is also now organizing the transfer of a bell for the Church of the Annunciation in the village of Vukovsko in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was destroyed by Croatian nazis during WWII, and where there is the tomb of more than 200 murdered locals. The church is currently begin restored and decorated. The foundation has also committed to annually covering the medical treatment of at least one Serbian child living in Russia. It is also working to arrange student exchanges between Serbian and Russian universities.

Last year, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej expressed his gratitude to Shatilina and his blessing for organizing a year-and-a-half stay in Serbia of a piece of the Lord’s tunic that is housed in the Diocese of Vladimir of the Russian Church. The Serbian state has also noted her merits in strengthening Russian-Serbian relations. The foundation will soon be registered in Russia as well. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 2. März 2021)

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