English



The Imperial Orthodox Palestinian society, a charitable scientific organization. It was created in 1882 on the initiative of Grand Prince Sergei Alexandrovich (president for life) with the purpose of supporting Orthodoxy in the Holy Land (including Syria and Lebanon), acquaintance of Russians with the Palestine and pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

The Palestinian Society erected churches and hostels in the Holy Land, supported teacher seminaries, schools, ambulance stations and hospitals. The Society negotiated preferential passing duties for pilgrims due to which many thousands of Orthodox believers from Russia could visit the Holy Land annually. The Palestinian Society also carried out archaeological excavations, scientific expeditions, published hagiographies of Palestinian saints, descriptions and guides of the Holy Land. The Orthodox Palestinian Anthology was published from 1881, (known as the Palestinian Anthology since 1918), and Reports of Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society from 1891. Many outstanding scientists were members of the society, including V. V. Bartold, S. F. Oldenburg, I. Y. Krachkovsky, V. V. Latyshev, N. Y. Marr, and V. V. Struve.

The Administration of the Palestinian Society, which had sections in many eparchies, was located in St. Petersburg at 36 Voznesensky Avenue. In 1885, the Chapel of St. Alexander Nevsky in Old Alexander's Market, which had raised money for the restoration of the Church of St. Nicholas of Mira in Turkey was transferred into the ownership of the Palestinian Society. In 1905, the chapel was sanctified as St. Nicholas’ Church. In 1913-15, the church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Mira was erected in its place in the Neo-Russian style. At the same time the Palestinian Society started building the Russian representative office with a church in the City of Bari in Italy, but the project was not completed on account of the Russian Revolution.

In 1918, the Russian Palestinian Society was transferred to the Russian Academy of Sciences; its Russian properties were nationalized.

The society now functions abroad under the original name along with the Jerusalem Spiritual Mission of the Moscow Patriarchate taking care of Russian Churches and Institutions in the Holy Land. In 1992, it was restored to its former status in Russia.



Archbishop Mark visits the Museum of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society

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04.02.2014
On January 30, 2014, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Overseer of its Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, visited the Museum of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society.

 

Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society on a working visit to Palestine

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19.03.2013
Sergey Stepashin, head of Russia’s Account Chamber, was on a working visit to Palestine from March 13–15, 2013, in his capacity as chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society.
 

Russian delegate visits Palestinian Territory to inaugurate school

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13.03.2013
Secretary General of the Palestinian Presidency, the President of Accounting for Russia, President of the Assembly of the Orthodox Empire Sergei Stepashn, put a time capsule in cement as constructions begin for a Russian funded school.
 

Lavrov: we are concerned for the fate of Christians in the Middle East

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30.11.2012
Russia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov attended the meeting of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society's Board which took place at the Society's headquarters in Moscow.
 

Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society worried about situation of Christians in Mideast, Northern Africa

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28.11.2012
The Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, the oldest Russian scientific and charitable organization, is concerned about the worsening situation for Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, especially in Syria, and is calling on the international community to stand up in defense of Christian rights in this region and prevent their exodus.
 

Mikhail Piotrovsky: «We Have a Common Purpose». Interview for the magazine Voda Zhivaya

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6.08.2012
This year, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) turns 130. This civic organization was created with the goal of supporting Orthodoxy in Palestine, as well as facilitating pilgrimages and scientific and educational activities. Throughout all of Russian history, the IOPS has become the most successful organization to operate abroad. We are discussing the Russian presence in the Holy Land and the future of Christian churches in the Middle East with Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, the Director of the State Hermitage, and Chairman of the Saint Petersburg branch of the IOPS.
 

Putin, Abbas open Russian center in Bethlehem

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26.06.2012
Russian President Vladimir Putin and head of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Mahmoud Abbas attended the opening of a Russian Center of Science and Culture in Bethlehem on Tuesday.
 

Moscow Hosts Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society Exhibition (video)

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8.06.2012
Moscow hosts an international exhibition to mark 130 years of co-operation between the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society and the peoples of the Middle East.
 

The opening of the Palestine Society’s exhibition in Moscow

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5.06.12
An international exhibition «Russia in the Holy Land» dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the foundation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. The opening ceremony was held on June 5, 2012 at the Central Exhibition Hall «Manege».
 

Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society underscores necessity of attracting public attention to the situation of Christians in the Middle East

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5.06.2012
Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Sergei Stepashin, in his report at the 2nd Conference of the IOPS spoke about the situation of Christians in the Middle East region. He said:’ Society should be very attentive to the ongoing processes and to the consequences of the so called ‘Arab Spring’, and in the first place to the persecution and violence against Christian minorities in some Arab countries.”
 

Conference of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society takes place in Moscow

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5.06.2012
On 4 June 2012, the second conference of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) timed to its 130th anniversary took place at the conference hall of the Russian Camber of Accounts.
 
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