A public park in Moscow becomes the scene of dispute when believers of Russian Orthodox Christianity want to take a plot of land to build a church on the site.
OFFICIAL SELECTIONS: ArtDoc Fest/ International Gold Panda! Nomination
Sacred Ground. The church of discord
Some time ago they would come here to walk their dogs, play with their kids or jog. Today they are two hostile parties fighting over a patch of ground in a park.
Every Sunday half of them come to pray by a wooden cross, and another half is there to defend a small spot of land, which they want to stay public.
Who could have imagined such a confrontation in a country which had been fully secular, even atheistic for decades? Still, a collision between orthodox believers and local dwellers, who don’t want to have a new church instead of a park or a public garden is quite common in the Russian capital these days.
“200 Churches” development project started by Russian Orthodox Church incooperation with Moscow government provoked several severe conflicts in the city.