Russian church rides the rails

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


As if recovering from seventy years of godless Communism wasn’t bad enough for the Russian Orthodox church, the fall of the regime has brought a whole new challenge: flocks of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and emissaries from other overseas religions competing with the old church for unsaved Slavic souls. In response, the Orthodox church has launched a church-on-wheels to spread the word.

Recent Must Reads

10/20 – Eco-Christianity in the Rockies

10/19 – Regis irks disabled

10/18 – Bush, North Korea, and the Moonies

10/17 – Gay in Guatemala

The GUARDIAN UNLIMITED reports that the rolling church has been painstakingly outfitted with a pulpit and altar, stained glass, and gold leaf worth more than US$70,000 — making it, as a train factory official bragged, “the most expensive carriage in all Russia.” Drunks and beggars were shooed out of the station so Patriarch Alexei II could come sprinkle the train with holy water to send it on its way.

The train will carry a team of six priests and 12 trainee clerics to remote, churchless villages in the far north, where an intensive line-up of weddings, funerals, and christenings await them.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate