For Russia's Future Priests, an Education in Church-State Ties
For Russia's Future Priests, An Education In Church-State Ties
July 28, 2010
By Kevin O'Flynn
SERGIYEV POSAD, Moscow Oblast -- If it weren't for the black uniforms and the fact that all of the young students are male, this classroom could be almost any educational institution in Russia.
Desks are stacked with piles of books. Some students have brought laptops, many of which are open to Vkontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. Other pupils chat casually with friends.
But then a teacher enters the classroom. The students stand up and, turning to face an icon hanging on the wall, begin morning prayers before starting a lesson on early Christian martyrs.
This is Sergiyev Posad, home to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, the most important monastery in Russia and the spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church. Located on Russia's Golden Ring, a circle of historic cities just northeast of Moscow, it is also home to the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, where budding priests from all over Russia come to train.