A government-sponsored program, One Hectare in Siberia, provides free distribution of real estate, about 2.5 acres, to anyone who would put it to use, and after a five year period the land is converted into one’s private property.
There had been no church in the village of Kotikovo, Khabarovsk Province. The residents had little chance to build one – but when this program was put into effect, they procured a lot in the village center with an abandoned building on it and set out to make it their church.
Today, the renovation is over, the new roof and dome are mounted, the electricity is on, and the Sanctuary and icon screen are in place. The church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated regularly along with other services, as well as the the Sacrament of Baptism. On major Church Feasts, visitors often come from remote places.
“We are elated by having gotten the land so easily,” says Mrs. Fedorenko, the beneficiary of the program, “after five years it will become the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Nearly 100,000 lots have already been distributed through the One Hectare in Siberia program. More to come.