Soccer fans learning about Romanovs while in Russia, touched by story of their martyrdom

Ekaterinburg, Russia, July 11, 2018

Photo: RIA-Novosti Photo: RIA-Novosti

Missionary opportunities arising from the ongoing FIFA World Cup Soccer Championships continue to present themselves in Russia.

Fans from around the world have been visiting the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, built on the site of the martyrdom of the last Royal Family of Russia.

Hisako, Princess Takamado of Japan visited the church, taking a great interest in the history and architecture. “This is a special place,” she said.

Fans have also taken an interest in the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers at Ganina Yama, on the site where their bodies were disposed of, and many have been visibly moved and even wept at learning about the lives and martyrdoms of Tsar Nichoals II and his holy family, His Grace Bishop Evgeny of Nizhny Tagil and Nevyansky has reported, according to RIA-Novosti.

“It was gratifying to see how soccer fans from Christian countries, especially from Uruguay, are very carefully examining the monastery and sacred objects at Ganina Yama. They have been reverently asking about the history of the erection of the church. The women have been covering themselves with long aprons and wearing head coverings. It’s that foreigners studied about Orthodox traditions beforehand. Many even wept when they learned in more detail about why the members of the Royal Family were canonized,” the bishop reflected.

He also noted that fans have been taking a lot of Orthodox icons and souvenirs with them, especially Orthodox literature printed in English. Guests were also especially interested in trying various Russian Lenten dishes. They especially loved kvass, Lenten baked goods, and Lenten okroshka soup according to Bp. Evgeny.

The monastery was visited daily by about 2,000 foreigners every day while soccer matches were going on in Ekaterinburg he also noted.

As previously reported, hundreds of fans also visited the Cathedral of the Ascension in Novocherkassk, and Visoko Petrovsky Monastery in Moscow has been attracting fans passing-by with the ringing of the monastery bells.

Students from Sretensky Theological Seminary also had the opportunity to speak with fans from the world, which you can read about here.

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