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Two new Orthodox churches

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.surinenglish.com/20130115/news/costasol-malaga/orthodox-churches-201301151400.html Two new Orthodox churches Two Russian organisations are planning
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2013

      Two new Orthodox churches

      Two Russian organisations are planning to build Orthodox churches in
      Lorcrimar Sur in San Pedro Alcántara and to the south of La Zagaleta in
      the municipality of Benahavís

      It is increasingly evident that the Costa del Sol, especially the
      so-called 'Golden Triangle' formed by Marbella, Benahavís and Estepona,
      is highly attractive for Russian investment and tourism. The property
      market in this area breathes more easily thanks to the money from Russia
      which is being used to acquire a large number of the luxury houses which
      estate agents have on their books. But those who leave behind the cold
      temperatures of Moscow to live on the Costa del Sol want to maintain at
      least some of their customs on this side of the globe and this growing
      interest has resulted in two projects to build Orthodox churches just a
      few kilometres away from each other: one in Marbella and the other in
      the municipality of Benahavís.

      Behind these initiatives are two foundations with very different
      interests and ways of life. Broadly speaking, one can say that the
      Fundación Iniciativa Ortodoxa, which is negotiating with Marbella
      council for the concession of a plot of land near Puerto Banús, is
      formed by the Russian community which has resided in the area for some
      time, while the Russian Imperial Foundation, which wants to build a
      church in Benahavís, has been set up by business people for whom the
      Costa del Sol is a holiday destination.

      Archpriest Dmitry Osipenko is the head of the Orthodox community in
      Marbella, which he says is the only one recognised by the Patriarchate
      of Moscow for the south of Spain. This group has been holding religious
      services in premises in San Pedro Alcántara but these have become too
      small as they only hold 150 people, so the Fundación Iniciativa Ortodoxa
      was set up with the aim of collecting enough money to build an Orthodox
      church which could hold at least 500. Architect Mijail Filipov, who is
      highly regarded in Moscow, is already working on its design. “Its main
      characteristic is that it will be easily recognised by anybody from
      Russian culture, who will be able to say: this place is a link to my
      land, with my faith, with my history”, says Dmitry Osipenko.


      The construction of this church, which will also contain a cultural
      section for the diffusion of the Russian language and culture, has been
      made possible thanks to private donations and the organisation of
      fund-raising events such as the one held recently at the Villa Padierna
      hotel, which was attended by the Russian ambassador to Spain, Yuri

      Fewer details are known about the project proposed by the Russian
      Imperial Foundation, an organisation formed by a group of business
      owners and representatives of Russian culture. It organises charitable
      events and promotes the recovery of the lost traditions and cultural
      heritage of the Imperial Russia of the Romanovs. Its president,
      Alexander Anisinov, set his sights on the Benahavís area when he
      attended the Russian Meeting Point property fair at Villa Padierna early
      last year and a few weeks ago an agreement was reached with Benahavís
      council and Villa Padierna Hotels and Resort under which the Foundation
      would be given a plot of land free of charge to build a Russian church.
      At present nothing more is known, other than the date for the laying of
      the first stone which will be January 20th, says Ricardo Arranz, the
      president of the company which owns the land.
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