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Shop & Pray – Church Opens in Russian Shopping Center

The MEGA shopping center in Krasnoyarsk has become the first in Russia, and probably the world, to have its very own church, where busy shoppers can drop by and pray, take confession or simply get in touch with their spiritual side.

It all started in spring of this year, when the shopping center management reached out to Archpriest Georgy Kozgov, asking for “the spiritual nourishment of security guards and visitors.” To make his job easier, they even offered him a room within the shopping center where he would regularly perform Confession and Communion, or have spiritual conversations with guards and shoppers. But as more and more people learned about the Father Kozgov and asked to see him, it soon became clear that the small room he had been operating out of was just too small for the huge demand of spiritual guidance.

Vladimir Skvortsov, manager of the security guard firm under contract with the MEGA shopping center was the one who approached management about offering Archpriest Kozgov a bigger space where he could conduct even more religious services and cater to more people. And that’s how the unusual shopping center church of Krasnoyarsk was born. It is located on the fourth floor of the MEGA center and is equipped with just about anything a Christian Orthodox church needs, including a sanctuary, hand-painted icons, wooden benches for visitors, as well as church tools made by prison inmates.

“There are no churches in this area of the city, and in our team, as everywhere else, there are people in need of spiritual guidance,” said Vladimir Skvortsov, manager of the center’s security guard firm.

“There are many people in need of spiritual guidance. After all, where there is trade, there is always a lot of negativity,” Father Kozgov added. “And now there is a place where everyone can be cleansed spiritually.Everyone who has come to my church has been very pleased.”

Divine Liturgy is performed at the church every Saturday morning, if you happen to be in the area, and feel like taking a spiritual break from weekend shopping.

Sources: Varlamov, Primechanyia

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