Nizhny Arkhyz, Karachai-Cherkessia (autonomous republic in the northern Caucasus, SW Russia), June 21, 2016
A natural disaster which washed away a bridge over the Podorvanka river in the Karachai-Cherkess Republic prevented some 1,500 pilgrims and forty priests from crossing the river and visiting the ancient Holy Trinity Church in Nizhny Arkhyz, reports Interfax-Religion.
“Unfortunately, the bridge has already collapsed three times in the past five years. This is why the reconstruction of old churches and infrastructure around them is still not being carried out,” reports the Pyatigorsk Diocese’s press service.
Archbishop Theophylact of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk believes the incident should be interpreted as a call for everybody’s consolidation for the sake of preservation of ancient holy sites.
“Again and again I am calling upon all of you who love your homeland – the Karachai-Cherkess Republic, our great Russia – to unite before attacks of natural calamities. The Lord is showing us that we should unite around ancient shrines. We must save them from disasters lest they should completely disappear. Churches should remain places of memory and prayer, dear to every single person who is drawn to them,” he said.
The Karachai-Cherkess Republic is proud of having the tenth-century Christian churches which are among the earliest surviving temples in Russia.