Letter on Russian Temple of All Religions

Australia, October 17, 2001

In view of recent world events which have emphasized the differences between peoples and religions, the following development in Russia might be of interest. I am speaking about the construction of an unusual building dedicated to the unity of peoples and religions: The Temple of All Religions, currently being built in Russia on the shore of the great River Volga, about 500 km east of Moscow.

Il'dar Khanov dreamt of creating this building from his youth. He sought guidance from spiritual mentors, including the famous mystic and artist Nicolai Roerich. But he did not receive sufficient signals from within to proceed with this project until many years later, in 1992. He then started work on planning the building immediately. Many helped with the building work, and business people have provided financial support.

In his estimation, there are twelve general religions in the world, so there are twelve paramount small towers on top of the Temple of All Religions. A telescope for viewing the mysteries of the planets and stars will be installed in the central tower. The Temple building will provide space for the religious celebrations of all faiths, and will be a Temple of culture and truth. It is the only such building in Russia, and one of perhaps four such large structures in various parts of the world. This is an exciting development in Russia, where freedom of religious expression is still a relatively new experience for most people. -- Lev Bernshteyn

(From Sunrise magazine, December 2001/January 2002; copyright © 2001 Theosophical University Press)

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