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Russian Space Center Gets Own Priest

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130726/182438521/Russian-Space-Center-Gets-Own-Priest.html Russian Space Center Gets Own Priest 26/07/2013 MOSCOW, July 26
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2013
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      http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130726/182438521/Russian-Space-Center-Gets-Own-Priest.html

      Russian Space Center Gets Own Priest
      26/07/2013

      MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Orthodox priest has been
      assigned to an aerospace defense unit stationed at a space center in
      northern Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate said Friday.

      Archpriest Artemy Emke will be responsible for religious work with the
      unit’s personnel as deputy commander on religious issues at the Plesetsk
      space center, a church representative said.

      “Any military unit should have a priest to help believers among soldiers
      and officers, in line with the Russian Constitution, to follow their
      religious beliefs, take the sacrament, and participate in the life of
      the Orthodox Church,” said Sergei Privalov, head of the Russian Orthodox
      Church's Department for Cooperation with the Military, Law Enforcement
      and the Security Services.

      “The work of a priest in the military aims at preventing hazing and
      suicides, and is intended to cultivate high moral and patriotic
      standards among the personnel,” Privalov added.

      He expressed hope that the appointment of 240 priests from four major
      religions (Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism) as deputy
      commanders of military units would be completed in the near future.

      According to Privalov, 77 priests, including 74 Orthodox, 2 Muslim and
      one Buddhist have been assigned to military units so far.

      In July 2009, after a meeting with the heads of Russia's main faiths,
      then-President Dmitry Medvedev supported a project to restore full-scale
      military priesthood, which had existed from the 18th century to the
      start of the Soviet era.

      According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two-thirds of the country's
      armed forces personnel consider themselves religious. Some 83 percent of
      them are Orthodox Christians, about 8 percent are Muslims, and 9 percent
      represent other confessions.
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