Chakra Announcements

Please join us in prayers for the Moscow temple

by Madana-mohana das

Posted December 30, 2003

ISKCON Communication Moscow

Contact: Igor Anikanov, +7 (095) 255-66-63

Moscow Krishnas to Hold All-night Vigil
in Hope to Save Historical Temple

On Saturday, December 27, hundreds of lamps will light up in the only Krishna temple of Moscow, which is facing imminent demolition. The ancient Vedic nama-yajna ritual and joint prayers for protection is the last bid of the desperate Krishna devotees to preserve their temple for over 25,000 followers of Vaishnavism in the Russian capital.

Hundreds of resident Indian and Russian devotees are expected to attend the ceremony. Participating will also be many veterans of the Hare Krishna movement in Russia, who were severely persecuted for their faith under the former Communist regime. Now the ex-prisoners of conscience may have to stand up again for what they were already thrown in jails and mental clinics some 20 years ago.

In 1990, when it was set up in the two-storey dilapidated building at Khoroshovskoye shosse, the Krishna temple became the very first center of Hinduism in the former Soviet Union. Now, surrounded by growling bulldozers of the "Donstroi" construction giant, it may soon become the very first Hindu temple in the West ever destroyed by authorities.

Earlier this year the Moscow government allocated a plot of land for the construction of the new Vedic cultural centre, where the present Krishna temple was to be shifted to. The decision brought joy to the local Hindu community and was appreciated by the government of India. However, soon a protest campaign orchestrated by nationalistic politicians on the eve of the parliament elections put the decision on an indefinite hold. To date, the government has not passed the final approval for the title transfer.

In the meantime, desperate appeals of the Hare Krishna followers in Moscow to avert demolition of their only shrine get no response from the Mayor's office.