7 Tatarstan inmates baptized in prison church

Nizhniye Vyazovye, Tatarstan, Russia, November 15, 2018

Photo: tatmitropolia.ru Photo: tatmitropolia.ru

On November 6, the day of the feast of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Mother of God, 7 inmates of Federal Penitentiary No. 5 in Nizhniye Vyazovye, Tatarstan, Russia were united to the Lord in the holy Sacrament of Baptism.

The feast and Baptisms were celebrated in the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos on the territory of the penitentiary, reports the site “Orthodoxy in Tatarstan,” the information site of the Tatarstan Metropolia.

Archpriest Valery Moiseev of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in the village of Nizhniye Vyazovye served a moleben with an akathist to the Theotokos on the same day, then visited the high-security area of the prison to commune several of the prisoners with the Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

5 prisoners were previously baptized in February, and 9 in September of last year.

As OrthoChristian previously reported, Baptisms in the prison are celebrated by full immersion in a font built by the hands of prisoners several years ago.

“With the appearance of the church, the spiritual life of the colony began new growth. The participation of inmates in worship services, the reading of spiritual literature, talks, and charitable activities help many of them return to normal life and reconsider their priorities in life,” said Fr Kirill Nazarov, who is responsible for the pastoral care of inmates in the Zelenodolsk Deanery.    

The church was consecrated by Metropolitan Anastasy of Kazan and Tatarstan in October, 2014. Much of the work on the church was done by prisoners themselves.

Faithful prisoners have repeatedly donated icons and pieces of Church decoration made by their own hands to children’s, medical, and spiritual institutions. Several carved icons were gifted to the Children’s Regional Clinical Hospital and the Kazan Children’s Hospice last year.

Some of the parishioners of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos help in the services and sing the Divine Liturgy. The creation of a Church choir was an important event in the life of the prison church. Its members rehearse daily, and they plan to become full participants in the Divine services in the near future.

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