2019-05-21 11:01:00

Fence at church construction site in Yekaterinburg to be torn down for peace's sake

Yekaterinburg, May 21, Interfax - A fence along the alley in the center of Yekaterinburg, where a church was planned to be built, will be removed in the very near future, Alexander Andreyev, the director of the Saint Catherine Foundation, which initiated the project, said.

"The metropolitan of Yekaterinburg has asked the Saint Catherine Foundation to remove the fence. We certainly responded to this appeal for the sake of peace and accord in our city. The fence will be removed very soon. The construction site will remain ours, we have every right to it and will wait for results of the poll," Andreyev told Interfax.

Once the fence has been removed, the foundation will start restoring the lawn which was damaged by crowds of protestors against the construction of a church in what is currently a small park.

"We in turn will ask the residents of Yekaterinburg, who were walking on and trampling the lawn and who really care about our city's green zone, to join us at this site on the day which the Saint Catherine Foundation will schedule for the restoration of the lawn," Andreyev said.

On Monday, a spokesperson for the Yekateriburg Diocese told Interfax: "Currently the metropolitan [Kirill of Yekaterinburg] is meeting with State Duma deputies. The meeting began with the metropolitan saying that he had sent a letter to the director of the Saint Catherine charitable foundation, requesting the removal of the fence from the construction site, which by now has unfortunately turned into a symbol of discord."

Mass protests against the church construction in Oktyabrskaya Square began on May 13 after a fence went up around the future construction site.

After a week of protests and arrests and the Russian president's intervening on May 18, the regional governor Yevgeny Kuivashev appealed to locals to discuss alternative sites where the church could be built. On May 20 the city administration announced a ten-day call for proposals on possible construction sites.