Sweden: parish fighting to save church from demolition

Sweden: parish fighting to save church from demolition

Umeå, Sweden, March 22, 2023

Photo: ortodoxakyrkanumea.files.wordpress.com     

Orthodox Christians in Umeå, a city in northeast Sweden, are fighting to save their church from being demolished by the municipality authorities.

The authorities have terminated the lease for the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul (Moscow Patriarchate), intending to demolish the building to make room for reconstruction around Lake Nydalasjön. The community has been given until June 30 to move out, but the faithful are currently gathering signatures to appeal the decision.

The appeal has currently gathered 1,536 signatures, with a goal of 2,000. The names will be submitted by letter to the Umeå Municipality Building Committee.

The collection of names ends tomorrow.

Photo: ortodoxakyrkanumea.files.wordpress.com Photo: ortodoxakyrkanumea.files.wordpress.com     

“As a congregation, we have decided to appeal this decision from the municipality in the hope of being able to keep our dear church premises in which we have celebrated so many fine services for over 15 years,” the parish writes, noting that it’s the only active Orthodox congregation with fixed church premises in the area.

It continues:

There aren’t many Orthodox churches in Sweden and worshipers of many different nationalities travel long distances to visit the church by Lake Nydalasjön, which has the advantage of being just outside central Umeå, which makes it easily accessible for older visitors as well as visitors who travel to the church by public transport. As the parish doesn’t have the financial means to acquire another place of worship and has not been offered a new place by the municipality, the loss of the current place would mean a major obstacle to the parish’s future activities.

If you want to help the parish keep their church building, sign the petition TODAY!

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