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2006: The Beginning of Reconciliation?

Moscow, 6 December 2007:

It is reported in the Russian media that a fourteen-year-old boy, Yaroslav Tikhovodov, from the village of Usta in Urensky county in the province of Nizhny Novgorod has built a church and become the youngest ‘priest’ in Russia. He became a believer at the age of five, was baptised and built his first prayer house at seven. Despite his youth, Yaroslav has already served in four chapels, all of them built by him and his friends.

Once, walking in the woods with his parents who were indifferent to religion, Yaroslav saw an abandoned cottage and established his first church there. The boy restored its walls and put up pictures of icons cut out of newspapers and magazines. He spent a lot of time in it, reading prayers and Church literature. At first Yaroslav’s friends laughed at him, but then became frequent guests in his forest prayer house. At the beginning they dropped by out of mere curiosity, but then they started praying with him and later called themselves his ‘parishioners’. The cottage fell down and the children built a new one from old boards and plywood. Later they were given building materials and they built a church in the village. Then an iconostasis was put up. Adult parishioners donated money to the church and the boy bought real icons instead of the ones cut out of newspapers.

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