Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Communion of Church and Citizens

Whoever brought up the idea that those people who were once under communist regimes were themselves godless have not been to Russia. In Komarovo, a small village located some 300 kilometers from Moscow, there is an acceptance of the fact that the Church is their savior - that it will deliver them from poverty and hunger - by keeping faith in the tradition of taking Church property and religious icons to sell to collectors; and using the structures to build their homes or sell it off as construction materials. It's durability tested by the number of decades or centuries it has survived.

Remote rural churches have been the favorite target of thieves, but this time their religious fervor seemed to have risen to great heights. A whole church, which was built in 1809 and owned by the Russian Orthodox Church, has disappeared. What was left of the 200 year old two-story building are the foundations and some wall sections. The Church of the Resurrection, as it was known, had miraculously ascended into Heaven. The structure was intact when last seen in July, but thieves must have dismantled it brick by brick after emptying its interior contents religiously. By October, the Church had vanished.

Investigations will not reveal what was done or who took part in it, perhaps because all of the villagers have benefitted from its disappearance. No one is claiming any miraculous act of God about the now invisible Church, and all villagers could be solemnly praying that attention is drawn away from them and their village to ease whatever guilt they might have. The incident could be another unsolved crime as far as authorities are concerned. They are not hopeful that the Church would Resurrect in the same place or in other locations anytime in the future; but could appear in bits and parts in areas where the market for these items are faithfully sold, miraculously presented, and spiritually priced. These have always been prized items that brought citizens closer to the Church, and which has proven the power of the motto "In God We Trust" - for their survival and well being.

Haaaaarrrrrrwwwwk...Twoooooooph...Ting!

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very funny post, I congratulate you for the twist that you injected. At least their fate in the value of religion remains very strong. He, he, he.

SheR. said...

You are absolutely right. All the Eastern Block who used to be Communists are really religious people. They have such deep faith in Catholic or Eastern Orthodox and the Pope too.

Thousands usually turn up for every church gathering!

Zhu said...

Funny and bizarre!

As far as I know, mainland China, who was very Communist for a long time, isn't religious nowadays, although one can find a few believers.

I had the feeling that the former USSR was quite religious.

Jena Isle said...

He he he, that is an incredible story, really! You have a biting sarcasm and wit that goes with your excellent writing that is difficult to equal, Ang galing mo pinoy. Mabuhay ka pinoy! Cheers and happy blogging.

Btw, okay lang na hindi mo post iyong tag and award. I understand. Ako , tinatakbuhan ko rin , kaya lang...eto kasi, I can't resist coming from Jean and Mathe who are very good writers in their own right. You should visit their blogs kabayan.

Thanks for sharing.

desperateblogger said...

umm.. a church that size had to have a sort of a foreman to oversee the "dismantling". a thieving job that size was not easy to accomplish too. great job, i should say. great job.

Kim said...

fascinating story Durano!!
I believe God works in mysterious ways and the People of Komarovo have obviously benefited from 'their' Church...
I couldn't help wondering when I was reading your account if the Italians would ever consider a similiar option with their Sistine Chapel... lol
imagine being able to purchase a small part of THAT ceiling :))

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes, their value for religion is dictated by market forces controlled by supply and demand. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Sher,

There are very devout Christians in the former Eastern bloc countries. But the type reflected in this post are those who turn up for churc gatherings only under cover of darkness, not to join the crowds but to avoid them; not to venerate the icons and symbols but to take these and profit from these. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

HI Zhu,

For the youth in China and those who might be considered their young professionals, China seems to have succeeded in indoctrinating them to value work, creation of wealth, and nationalism for the betterment of the country.

Religion has been relegated to the background as a minor personal value. Among the older Chinese, their faith has not been practiced for some time but not totally forgotten. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Jenaisle,

Thanks for the compliments and the kind words. I was actually enjoying myself with this post.

Huwag naman nating takbuhan. Isipin mo na lang nung bago pa lang tayong blogger, excited din naman tayo sa mga ganito. Bigyan natin ng halaga para mai-pass forward din nila sa mga susunod na blogger. Tulad niyan, magagaling na writers din. Saka kung minsan nakakarindi pero okey lang na i-acknowledge, kasi yung nagbigay baka mataas andg tingin at expectation sa binigyan, tapos pag di napansin baka masira ang loob. Maraming pinoy/pinay bloggers na sensitive, kaya kailangan pag-ukulan ng pansin. Thanks for the award! :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Desperateblogger,

I'm sure there was a foreman who knows about structural designs, otherwise it could have collapsed on them and injured or killed a few of the "collectors".

They did a very thorough job of making the church vanish, as if it were a carcass cleaned by vultures or a living thing attacked by the piranha who happened to stray in their murky abode. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

That's a great point. If the Sistine chapel could be parceled out, it would be worth billions especially if a section contained a whole image painted by Michaelangelo. Wow!

But I think even a fool like Silvio Berlusconi would not go for anything like that. I suppose even the Mafia would not want that to happen. This organization is proud of their Italian heritage and proudly boast of their great men and their works.

Frankly, I would not even think of trying if I were one of those "religious devotees" like those in Komarovo. LOL! :-) --Durano, done!

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