Moscow, June 23, 2017
The patriarchal podvoriye Church of All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Russian Land in the Novokosino district of Moscow is launching a new missionary project focused on the deaf and hearing impaired, reports the Moscow Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Shooting has already begun in Moscow’s Zachatevsky Convent on the project which will present basic information on the history, sacred objects, and sites of the capital’s many monasteries in sign language, as part of a video guide for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Rector of the Novokosino church Archpriest Michael Zazvonov has stated that the video guide is designed to help the deaf partake more fully of the life of the Church by teaching them about the history of the Church and the capital. The project was made possible by the small grant competition “Orthodox Initiative.” The same parish also launched the “Desnitsa (Right Hand)” Orthodox YouTube channel, which currently hosts 65 spiritual-educational videos for the deaf and hearing-impaired, having won a grant from the same competition in 2016.
The center for working with the deaf and hearing-impaired in the Church of All Saints Who Have Shone Forth in the Russian Land began its work in October 2015.
To date, the community of deaf and hearing-impaired people numbers about sixty people. There are weekly Divine Liturgies in the church with sign language translation, after which there is a Sunday school class for the deaf. Excursions and pilgrimages are also periodically organized. The church also holds regular courses for learning Russian sign language.
A braille prayer book for the blind was published in Archangelsk in November, 2016, and in January of this year, participants in a meeting of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service, the Institute for Bible Translation, the All-Russian Society for the Deaf, clergy working with the deaf from various dioceses, sign language interpreters, and the deaf community, decided to begin translating the Holy Bible into braille with the Gospel of Mark.