«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka

© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in photobacteria Liturgy in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in photobacteria Stefanov

«God does not punish — he is punishing. If you’re wrong, you might have something happen to your understanding. Fear is not necessary. We even ask ourselves, when we pray before communion: «punish me, o Lord, here and not there, in that light»…

Archpriest Konstantin Kobelev, senior priest of the prison Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God at SIZO-2 «Butyrka», instructs quietly in a corner of the temple of three adult men. Now he starts to perform one of the main sacraments of the Orthodox Church — baptism.

© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in the Butyrka prison

On Elijah’s day in the capital territory of the investigation isolator # 2 first appeared just three «newborns»: Victor, Andrew and Oleg. So in the Orthodox tradition is called accepted «Holy baptism». Thus began the «Butyrka» project «Salvation in faith.»

Intercession Church at the Butyrka prison — the oldest prison of the temple buildings of Moscow —was built by a famous architect Mikhail Kazakov in the provincial centre of Butyrsky prison castle (once there sat Pugachev) in 1782. After the revolution the Church was closed, the building has arranged transit of the camera, and then the prison hospital and the medical unit. In 1992 the Church again for worship and fully restored it just now.

The first in the modern history of the Baptismal Liturgy and a special «prayer for justice» in «Butyrka», brought together several dozen people — herkulessaal, prison officials, detainees and prisoners, journalists.

«Of course, the charges that society makes us, we such actions can not be removed. But it is the Lord who cleanses our sins. At the moment, you are like infants that have just been born from the womb of his mother: a small child — he without sin…» — continues their legacy to father Constantine.

© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in the Butyrka prison

Someone from officials quietly telling journalists that the baptized are asked reporters not to shoot. But those seem to be generally oblivious to the camera and the usual media fuss. Face focused, eyes on the floor.

For the sacrament here equipped with a large plunge pool with steps for full immersion. Thus, after a quarter of a century dream come true predecessor of father Konstantin, a prominent Church pastor, teacher, and scholar, Archpriest Gleb Kaleds (+1994), who began the revival of the Butyrskiy of the temple. Father Gleb wanted to perform a baptism, in accordance with ancient tradition.

In the center of the temple on the lectern, in addition to the usual holiday icons, a small reliquary with the sacred object. A particle of relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and St. Peter the Apostle transmitted to the intercession Church on the permanent storage of the Vatican. Just three days before the bringing of the relics of Saint Nicholas from Bari to Moscow on 18 June, an unexpected «gift» from prison to parishioners brought the priest from Vladimir Central, serving sometimes in the «Butyrka.» The prisoners themselves made a special stand for relics.

© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in fotobanka about doing justice in the Butyrka prison

«…Every evil and unclean spirit, hidden and nestled in his heart, Erdeni out of it!» — loud voice of his father Constantine, three times repeating the phrase of orders over each of the baptized, to distract from extraneous thoughts and return to service.

«Everything feel better»

Later, at a press approach journalists trying to ask the priest about the fate of Oleg, Andrey and Victor and their solution. Father Konstantin is brief.

«They are different people, they expressed such a desire. Some of them not so long ago there appeared and is still under investigation. Someone already convicted and will appeal. Someone and the appeal has already passed, literally no time to baptize him as soon he leaves… Such are the fates of these three. I will not disclose some of their characteristics — people with a difficult fate,» he says.

In the «prison» services are held up to three times a week. At Sunday services in the Church going 30-40 people. To visit the temple which is in the cells you need to write a petition to the chief on educational work.

© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in photobacteria Liturgy in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Valery Melnikova in photobacteria Liturgy in the Butyrka prison

According to statistics, during the year the Liturgy in Holy virgin intercession Church was visited by over a thousand people, of which 75% people went to confession and took communion. Father Constantine says that participation in the sacraments of the Church testifies to the active spiritual life of the prison congregation.

«That’s when these people come to the colony, there is already the percentage is less, shares his experience of the priest. — Because this is the most intense spiritual life, everything felt sharper. Man in court tomorrow, he already comprehended his entire life. Then he came to the colony and begins to think: well, tomorrow I can go to the temple, and then — and a week to go, is already condemned… And everything is very concentrated, and therefore, the value of prison Ministry in prison is very important.»
«Then be patient…»

At the end of the Baptismal Liturgy in the Butyrsky temple is a special prayer also for the first time — «on justice». This rank is relatively new, made in 2014, the senior priest of the Metropolitan detention center-5 Archpriest John Churakov.

Here pray the court to remand was fair, and that «neither slander, nor perjury, or bribery or whatever, from human weakness make», could not affect the trial.

After the service, understand that the question for the father of Constantine — from the category of the most urgent. The number of acquittals from year to year is reduced. «It’s up to unimaginable values are only 0.37% of acquittals, says males. — Of the millions of people that came in criminal cases in 2016, respectively, were justified only 3,700. This is something we cannot agree to accept.»

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in fotobanka in the Church at the Butyrka prison«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in fotobanka in the Church at the Butyrka prison

In recognition of his father Constantine, with the examples of human «hang what he did,» the prison priests face regularly. Confirmation of these words, he says, is confession. The priest has no right to disclose the secrets of the confessional of a particular person, but may draw conclusions and to generalize the practice.

And it turns out that it often happens that the convicted-Confessor admits to some old sins that no one ever knew and for which he, too, could get a term, but says that now condemned him unjustly. In the opinion of the Confessor «Butyrki» it shows the confidence of one who confesses to the priest and his honesty: a man not afraid to admit that nobody would know. «Well, then, so be patient…» — said in such cases, the father of Constantine.

«Down to earth»

Perhaps one of these stories suddenly heard, and I’m talking before the service with a 30-year-old Alexander, who took at first for a prison officer. Approached him after he was gathered in the Church to the relics of the Saint.

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in photobackpack of the Holy virgin in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in photobackpack of the Holy virgin in Butyrskaya prison

It turned out that Alexander is convicted, but works in «hozotryad». In a detachment of economic security «Butyrka» people get convicted of petty articles and previously serving punishment in places of deprivation of liberty. After sentencing, they expressed a desire before the deadline to stay here instead of sending to the colony and to help in the work of the prison. For those who have come to faith, it’s probably akin to «obedience» in the monastery. And to get to worship, people from hozotryad any statements not necessary to write.

Alexander came to the temple to pray and support Oleg, Andrey and Victor. Says believed in God since childhood, thanks to the pious grandmother even went to a Church school. Now his son is in first grade. In appearance — a smart, calm guy. Not without astonishment I ask, what is sitting.

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in fotobounce remand«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in fotobounce detention facility

Article 159, part 4 — «fraud in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities». Worked for a company that established in the suburbs of cameras in the courts. Said that took care of the security of citizens, but, unfortunately, «crossed the road» to the secret service.

«Of course, they have the same night «the Zhiguli» from «Mercedes» is not different, and we have every pimple on the face is visible», — says Alexander. Equipment was confiscated, and he was given six years. Three years have passed.

Ask whether you heard any appeal? According to him, the complaint was filed in 2014 and in September 2016, reached the Supreme court. But in the Supreme court to investigate — part 4 of article 159 of the «abrogated» from July of the same year…

«But I think I this time in favor of the matter: dropped from heaven to earth. Then the money river flowed, and here I am about other values more thought, rethought a lot of things. So, it was,» says Alexander.

Although, adds not without a smile: «only long — I for the year realized…»

Finally, ask him about his opinion about how prisoners come to faith. «I’ll say this: out of 100% only 10% will keep faith from practice. It is only when we are in trouble, we believe, and when everything becomes okay, then forget it all».

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in photobackpack of the Holy virgin in Butyrskaya«When we’re in trouble, we believe»: how to come to faith in the Butyrka© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Pescaprae in photobackpack of the Holy virgin in Butyrskaya prison

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