Moscow, September 28, 2017
A new memorial, “Garden of Memory,” has been opened at the former Butovo firing range, bearing the name of all those shot on that spot in the years of Stalinist repressions, reported the rector of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo Archpriest Kirill Kaleda to RIA-Novosti.
The monument consists of two granite slabs on which are engraved the names of 20,762 people who died at Butovo. The monument measures 984 ft. long, and 6.5 ft. tall.
The opening was celebrated by the oldest hierarch of the Russian Church Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitska and Kolomna, and was attended by Federation Council member Vladimir Lukin, member of the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation Sergei Karaganov, Natalia Solzhenitsyn, the widow of the famous author, as well as representatives of various EU nation embassies.
Butovo was the largest site of mass executions and burials of victims of political repression of the mid-20th century. In the period from August 1937 to October 1938 alone, more than 20,000 people were shot and buried there. About 1,000 of them were specifically martyred for confessing the Orthodox faith, and more than 300 have been canonized.
Today the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors stands on the spot of the former firing range, and His Holiness Pat. Kirill celebrates the Divine Liturgy annually in Butovo on the fourth Saturday of Pascha in honor of the New Martyrs of Butovo.