22 August 2007, 12:42
Protestant students from Europe build Orthodox chapel in Southern Russia
Taganrog, August 22, Interfax - Protestant volunteers from Germany and the Netherlands have come to a Taganrog’s retreat for elderly people to help constructing an Orthodox chapel.
‘We work here as volunteers and I think that’s the best way to get acquainted with Russia and Russian culture,’ Gerd Sletenhar, a volunteers, said.
The chapel is intended to be a part of the retreat’s rehabilitation program that already includes a hairdressing saloon, a physiotherapist’s room, gymnastic trainers, a psychological relief room, and a gerontology department is to be started soon.
Religion is considered as a special rehabilitation method. A priest visits the retreat on major festivals to administer confessions and communion. The prayers are held in the lobby.
Initially, no funds were supposed for the chapel. The retreat’s director got to know about free-working volunteers from a website belonging to some charity. They applied for help, and a group of students arrived in a few months.
Though all of them are Protestant, they are glad to build an Orthodox chapel, the Don-TR TV-radio reported on Wednesday.
‘We enjoy helping our Orthodox brothers. We all are Christian and belong to the one church of Christ,’ the volunteers say.
The Western Europeans will be working until the end of the summer when they will go home. The chapel will be completed next year by the Russian constructors.