The first Russian Orthodox church will be erected in North Korea. The consecration ceremony of the Trinity church's first stone took place in Pyongyang Tuesday.
The ceremony was attended by Archbishop Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk, RIA Novosti sources in Pyongyang reported by phone.
The church is supposed to be constructed by the end of 2003. Its construction will be carried out by Korean architects according to their own project. Two bells for the church are promised to be sent from Russia. Four North Korean priests for this church are being trained in the Russian Spiritual Academy.
The idea to construct a Russian church in Pyongyang was put forward by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during his railway trip across Russia in August 2001. After visiting an Orthodox church in Khabarovsk he ordered his subordinates to erect a similar church in the North Korean capital.
The Trinity Orthodox church will become the fourth Christian church alongside a Catholic and two Protestant churches.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.