2011-06-06 18:01:00

First Russian church built in Arabian Peninsula

Moscow, June 6, Interfax - The domes of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Philip the Apostle in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, have been crowned with golden crosses.

It is the only Russian church to have been built in the United Arab Emirates and in the whole of the Arabian Peninsula, and the only one to have been crowned with golden crosses, the Moscow Patriarchate said on its website.

The crosses were sanctified by the senior priest of the Russian Orthodox parish, Father Alexander (Zarkeshev).

The five crosses and nine stars with a golden titanium-nitride coating, were designed by architect Yury Kirs and made in Russia before they were airlifted to Sharjah.

This centerpiece of the Orthodox community in the United Arab Emirates has emerged on personal orders from the Sharjah ruler, Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi. The Orthodox church compound encompasses, besides the pentagonal church, a three-storied building which houses a cultural and educational center.

The stone for the stone-laying ceremony was sanctified by the then Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad and now Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on September 9, 2007.