of the eastern churches.
Many of them are ancient reminders and all of them are places of prayer.
There are few being constructed and erected in this modern era. This post
highlights a special one just erected in 2007. -note- Fr John-Brian
Wooden cross erected to commemorate victims of Stalin's purges
Posted AT 12:30 PM EST on 08/08/07
MOSCOW - Russian Orthodox priests consecrated a wooden cross Wednesday at a
site south of Moscow where firing squads executed thousands of people 70
years ago at the height of Josef Stalin's political purges. Created at a
monastery that housed one of the first Soviet labour camps and brought by
barge to Moscow along a canal built on the bones of gulag inmates, the large
cross has been embraced as memorial to the mass suffering under Stalin.
Huge cross marks Stalin purges
The cross honours the memory of tens of thousands of Stalin's victims
A giant cross commemorating the victims of Stalinist purges in the 1930s has
been erected at a ceremony near Moscow. The wooden cross - 12.5m high (41
ft) and 7.6m wide (25 ft) - was placed in Butovo, at the site of a former
The landscape of the Solovki is filled with signs of religious revival. One
such sign stands smack in the middle of the harbor: a towering wooden cross,
called a poklonny krest (cross of worship), which rises up from a rocky
platform to greet ships as they arrive on the island. These distinctively
shaped crosses are something of a specialty in the Russian North; you can
find dozens of them throughout the Solovki. Many of them were made by a
retired architect named Georgy Kozhokar. When I met Kozhokar, he was oiling
up his mountain bike for a ride across the island. With his thick, slightly
graying beard, he wouldn't have been out of place in an Orthodox monastery.
Indeed, he has lived on the Solovki for the past 17 years - but he was
originally born in far-off Moldova. "The Solovki is my spiritual homeland,"
Later, Kozhokar took me on a tour of his cross-making workshop. Besides the
cavernous space where he assembles his monumental crosses, there is also a
room where he creates small, intricately carved crosses that will hang on
the walls of churches and private houses. Kozhokar never signs his work; he
considers himself a servant of God, rather than a commercial craftsman.
From: Ghosts of the Solovki By Alex Osipovich
Stalin's victims honored in emotional memorial
Gulag site now a museum to purges and a spiritual haven
Moscow ceremony remembers people killed in Soviet purge
Stalin's victims honoured