04/30/2020, 09.55
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Moscow, an Orthodox church with mosaics of Putin and Stalin among angels and saints

The Church of the Armed Forces, in the Kubinka ("Patriot") military park. The victory over Nazism (with a portrait of Stalin) and the annexation of Crimea (where Putin and other contemporary Russian politicians appear). The criticisms. Patriarchate: the "patriotic" mosaics will not be exposed to the devotion of the faithful.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The finishing touches are being put to the Orthodox Church of the Armed Forces, with mosaics that even depict Vladimir Putin and Yosef Stalin among the angels, the saints, the Mother of God and God the Father.

Located in the Kubinka ("Patriot") military park, near the capital, it should be finished in May, to celebrate 75 years since the victory over Nazism.

The church is meant to be a kind of pantheon that glorifies Russian history and its leaders. In addition to the face of the current president and the dictator who persecuted the Church and religions, there is also the defense minister Sergei Shoygu, the foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, the secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev. On the walls some moments of Russian history are exalted such as the victory over Nazism, with the portrait of Stalin (photo 2) and the annexation of Crimea in 2014 (photo 3).

This fact is provoking heated debate locally and in the international community. Vedemosti newspaper has branded the operation as a "parody of Russian history and state".

In the midst of the coronavirus storm, the patriarchate has had to take some steps to limit the scandal of "patriotic" mosaics. The person in charge of the patriarchate's relations with the Armed Forces, the bishop of Klin Stefan (Privalov), has communicated that it will be the Holy Synod to decide the fate of the mosaics: they will almost certainly be kept in some museum halls, and will not be exposed to the devotion of the faithful. However, the "opinion of the President" on the matter will be taken into account.

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