An Open Letter From the ROAC Website

Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich!

Do you know what happened in Suzdal, with ten churches of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, used for many years, believers Suzdal and other towns of Russia?

I suppose you don’t know.

These temples were handed over to communities of believers of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in the Nineties, and they have been rebuilt without state aid.

In recent years a real war against the Church was waged through the media. We have been slandered, we were humiliated, insulted, provoked retaliatory action only for being members of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. Yes! It is our conscious choice, provided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

It turned out that some in our country, are allowed to open to create lawlessness and impunity!

Thus, in 2008 the state allowed officials of the Vladimir region to initiate proceedings for the removal of our churches, therefore, in their ruin and deprivation of constitutional rights to freedom of religion.

In September 2009, on the basis of decisions of the Arbitration Court of Vladimir region, we were compelled to release the restored churches, pick up our belongings and are now left without churches. Our churches were taken ostensibly to state coffers. Now they are locked.

Much has been deprived of us in recent years, but I had no idea that theft of the opportunity to pray in our churches was possible! I wondered– how this was possible in a democratic Russia? I would argue that most of the inhabitants of Suzdal are as confused as I am, and losing hope for justice from the Russian government!

We have sent many examples, up to the President of Russia Mr. Medvedev, asking for help. Avail! We allude to the fact that this is the order of Moscow, and such order must be obeyed. I do not know. But is fearful to live in the country, knowing that you are kept defenseless by the state.
Vladimir Vladimirovich, you are our last hope. I do not believe that all of this blasphemy occurred with your blessing. Help us to carry our own churches. Believe me, we are normal Orthodox people.

If the initiators of the theft of our churches think that they’re done with the “Suzdal schism”, they are wrong, they have only aggravated it.

Still trusting you, as a teacher with forty-three years of experience, a veteran of labor, director of Suzdal school number #1 in the years 1988-1998,

Deana G. Barygina