17 June 1996 16:05:18

ORTHODOX BROTHERHOOD FEEDS MOSCOW HOMELESS by Elnor Allhusen and Lawrence A. Uzzell, Keston News Service 'We haven't missed a day yet'.  JIM VAIL of Moscow's Brotherhood of St Seraphim told Keston News Service on 16 June that the charitable group's three-month-old feeding programme has become an established part of life for homeless Russians at the Kazan train station in northeastern Moscow.   The programme is now feeding 50 to 100 people, nearly half of whom are regular visitors to its Wednesday and Saturday lunches. The charity's core leaders--from Russia, England, the USA and Ethiopia-- are members of S Katherine's Church, Moscow's only English-language Orthodox parish.  They prepare the meals at SS Peter and Paul, the church nearest the train station, and deliver them in a bus donated by the British organisation 'Contact'.  They plan to expand to other train stations, Moscow's most conspicuous concentrations of homeless people, and also are trying to acquire land for an orphanage in the Kaluga oblast about 120 miles southwest of Moscow. Like other charities, the programme has met resistance.  When its leaders visited secular secular institutions in the Kazan Station area seeking free access to kitchen facilities, they were welcomed until they revealed that the purpose was to feed the homeless--upon which they were given various reasons why the facilities would not be available.  Many Russians 'still have no sense of charity', Vail told Keston. Relations with the local police have become stable, though still far from cordial.  In a recent visit to the programme Keston observed a policeman telling the group that it should move its serving line away from the station; the volunteers continued working anyway, and the policeman simply walked away. The programme's beneficiaries include well-educated professionals-- teachers, judges, engineers-, physicists--who have found themselves unable to function in Russia's new economic climate.  Many are people from the provinces who have no legal right to live in the capital under the system of residence permits which is still vigorously enforced in Moscow.   Others are ethnic Russians from elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. In addition to 'Contact' in England, the programme has received donations from International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod. (END) --=====================_835066983==_ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Lawrence A. Uzzell Keston Institute, Moscow office phone/fax (7-095) 928-8202 --=====================_835066983==_-- --- Internet Message Header Follows --- Received: from infoline.net.kiae.su (infoline.net.kiae.su []) by linux.nildram.co.uk (8.6.12/8.6.12) with ESMTP id RAA10560 for ; Mon, 17 Jun 1996 17:27:53 +0100 Received: from d198.z194-58-227.relcom.ru by infoline.net.kiae.su with SMTP id UAA01452;  (8.6.12-Ext/1.0) Mon, 17 Jun 1996 20:05:18 +0400 Date: Mon, 17 Jun 1996 20:05:18 +0400 Message-Id: <199606171605.UAA01452@infoline.net.kiae.su> X-Sender: 9133.g23@pop.w.g23.relcom.ru X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Light Version 1.5.2 Mime-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="=====================_835066983==_" To: keston_institute@cin.co.uk From: "Uzzell Lawrence A." <9133.g23@g23.relcom.ru> Subject: ORTHODOX BROTHERHOOD FEEDS MOSCOW HOMELESS X-Attachments: C:\WWD\SERAPH.TXT;