The faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church are continuing the long process of reviving their holy and beloved churches that were desecrated and ruined by the godless authorities throughout the country.
In this vein, a great event was held recently, when the patronal feast of the Church of St. Elias in the village of Sobolekovo in the Nizhnekamsk Region of the Tatarstan Republic was celebrated for the first time in nearly 80 years on August 2.
During the long years of persecution by the godless soviet authorities, the church had been desecrated and used as a club, a library, a warehouse, and even a pig slaughterhouse, reports the official site of the Nizhnekamsk Municipal Region.
The church was consecrated on March 5, 1871. The parishioners were residents of the nearby villages and towns. In the early 20th century, there were about 800 houses in Sobolekovo. Industrial buildings were later placed in the village, and the church was repurposed.
Orthodox residents of the Nizhnekamsk Region have been restoring the old church for several years now. Refrigerators and trash have been hauled out of the holy space, and permission for use of the territory has been obtained. They are gradually replacing the windows and painting icons.
Now, former residents of the village come together every Saturday with Fr. Artemy Yamashev to pray in their home church. The recent St. Elias’ Day Liturgy was the community’s first celebration of its patronal feast day in nearly 80 years.