Meeting of priests of Baptist, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches of the Altai Region took place in Barnaul

In Russia

BARNAUL, Jan. 31 – A seminar for ministers of Baptist, Pentecostal, Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches of the Altai region took place in Barnaul. The seminar was conducted by Tatyana Reshetnikova, head of non-profit organizations department of Department of Justice of Russia in Altai region.

Meetings like that took place several times before, but by the Department of Justice invitation and in a suggested format. This time the meeting was initiated and organized by the ministers. The place chosen for the meeting was one of Barnaul Pentecostal churches’ building. One of the goals of the seminar was determined by mutual desire of the churches leadership and Tatyana Reshetnikova – to meet in person due to her recent assignment to the position of the head of the department. Evelina Prokopieva, senior specialist-expert took part in the meeting too.

According to the Department of Justice data, 389 religious organizations are registered in the region, great majority of them belong to different Christian denominations.

About forty priests from thirty cities and towns of the region represented several Christian denominations. Such confessional diversity is unique in a sense: so many different, as it is traditionally considered, church ministers are sitting at one “round” table. Each one of the churches has its own distinctive characteristics in teaching and in liturgical practice. Even in the clerical garbs the difference was evident: some wearing a long robe, others wearing formal suits, and some wearing clerical collars. But on this day, nothing could prevent the ministers from gathering together, accepting each other with respect and sound tolerance. That is why one of the most important results of the meeting was a strong peacemaking impulse to remove the interchurch tension, and also for the possibility of further interchurch communication and cooperation. It turns out, we can allow each other to be different, but sit around one table for the sake of common work. In spite of a cold winter outside, the relationships are becoming warmer!

Sergei Potapov

The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith