27 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/09/2011
RUSSIA
Moscow bans feeding the hungry
by Nina Achmatova
City council orders the church of Saints Cosmas and Damian to close its soup kitchen for the homeless because it gives an unseemly image of the city. The parish is located outside the mayor’s offices. Each year in the capital at least 200 homeless people die of cold.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - For 15 years, twice a week, the Russian Orthodox parish of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Shubin, Moscow, has offered food and assistance to the homeless. For 15 years on Wednesday and Friday from 300 to 600 homeless people were sure of a full meal, medicine, clothes and some heat, which in the long Russian winter becomes as important as bread. For 15 years. Until May, when the administration of the municipality of Moscow ordered Parish priest Alexandr Borisov to terminate the service for hygiene reasons. The parish is situated on the famous Tverskaya Street, a temple to luxury boutiques, banks and representative offices of international companies, but most importantly it is in front of the City Council wand it appears mayor Sergei Sobianin did not like the sight of homeless people in a queue waiting their turn to be fed and so ordered the shelter closed.

According to Father Borisov, there was also pressure from some residents in apartment buildings across from the church, who have long complained about the presence of the homeless. "There are some people - denounced the pastor - who call themselves religious, attend services celebrated by the Patriarch, but then they act only to destroy and never to build."

The church of Saints Cosmas and Damian have received the solidarity of the Moscow Patriarchate who wrote to Sobyanin asking that the administration provide an alternative structure to that of the parish, where they can continue the canteen and social initiatives. "That aid to the homeless - continues the priest - is precisely the sphere where church and state can work better together: the city council could provide the structure to welcome the homeless and we will provide the staff and volunteers to do the job." It is estimated that each year there are 200 homeless people who die from the cold in the capital alone

As with other mega-cities, homelessness in Moscow is a perennial problem, exacerbated by the indifference and prejudice of the population and authorities: online and on the street is common to hear people worried that the state protect their "right not to be touched and infected by bums on public transport. " The police has organized a sort of rounds in which each day, according to official figures, about 200 homeless people are gathered and taken to reception centers where they are washed and treated, only to later sent back onto the street.

In the past there have been attempts, both local and federal, to reintroduce into the penal code the crime of 'vagrancy', but they have all failed. According to Ministry of Interior estimates, the population of homeless people in Moscow is upwards of 100 thousand people, half of whom have a high school diploma. Precisely for this reason experts believe that a program of reintegration of these people in society is possible. While the intention of the political class seems to be heading in the opposite direction.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
12/19/2006 RUSSIA
Caritas asks for Orthodox priest to provide pastoral assistance
11/10/2006 RUSSIA
Mgr Kondrusiewicz received by Moscow Patriarchate for first time in years
11/22/2005 RUSSIA
Russian monk preaches online
06/08/2011 RUSSIA - UAE
First Russian Orthodox church in the Arabian Peninsula consecrated
08/08/2014 RUSSIA - UKRAINE
Moscow Patriarchate welcomes Russian counter-sanctions
by Nina Achmatova

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.