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  • Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

    I received an email recently that claimed that there may be a new possibility for the longest constantly resident person in Antarctica. The claimant in question "could" be the resident of priest of the Russian orthodox temple on King George V Island:

    http://www.spc.rs/eng/flock_antarcti...ly_trinity_day

    "The permanent priest of the church is Father Georgy, who has twenty years of polar experience and now lives permanently near his church. Among his tasks are praying for the souls of the 64 Russian people who have died in Antarctic expeditions and serving the spiritual needs of the staff of Bellingshausen Station and other nearby stations."

    Though I can find no evidence of how long the priest has been there or indeed if he is able to leave and return - anyone have any more information?

  • #2
    Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

    Amazing, simply amazing. Serbian Orthodox Church runs the web site you cited, and generally they are very reliable (unlike other sources of information in Serbia), so I guess it is all very possible.

    If you look at Hilandar monastery, and other monasteries around, there are some people that are so devoted to religion, it is amazing. I would sometimes say it sad, but they have their reasons, so who am I to judge. Anyway, I have amazing stories about some of them, but it is not the topic here.

    Judging by myself, I believe that someone must suffer a huge personal (not material) loss, like losing family members, to become so devoted to religion, but once again, I am not that religious so I can't really tell.

    If you know the documentary movie "Encounters" by Werner Herzog, the background music is he traditional singing of Russian Orthodox Church priests, a form of long prayer and the blessing to those who listen to it.
    Last edited by flighter; 25th January 2009, 16:46.

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    • #3
      Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

      Hi Flighter,

      Yes it is incredible what people do in the name of religion. The thing about Antarctica though is that you can't just do what you want like in the rest of the world (ish) and the priest would have to be supported for pretty much all of his needs by someone.

      So you've raised another question - who is supporting him and why? As Antarctica is peopled only by a transient population who themselves are supported from outside, the arrangements must be somewhat unusual to say the least. The plot thickens...

      http://img.rian.ru/images/6278/09/62780981.jpg
      http://alexchmel.livejournal.com/48027.html

      I have to say it looks much better than the vast majority of Antarctic bases!

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      • #4
        Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

        I don't know about Russia, but in Serbia, Orthodox church is supported by honest followers (small donations), and by... let's call it, controversial business people, who seek forgiveness for what they did, by those who seek more publicity by supporting church... I believe that it is not any different in Russia.

        As for who supports this man and his efforts, it is difficult to tell. A big nation like Russia, with Russian Orthodox Church, can easily afford that. In past centuries many missionaries went to Africa, Central and South America, spreading their beliefs without any obvious material gains, so I would not want to suggest in any way that this has any material background.

        I was referring more to psychological aspect of it.

        p.s. Thanks a lot for the photo and the link. It's amazing... look like a distant outpost... piece of human civilization on another planet.

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        • #5
          Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

          Paul/Flighter,

          No doubt you've both seen the Wikipedia entry for this?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Church,_Antarctica

          The ambitious project to establish a permanent church or even a monastery on Antarctica surfaced during the 1990s. A charity named Temple for Antarctica (Храм - Антарктиде) was approved by Patriarch Alexius II and received donations from across Russia. They organized a competition for the project that was won by architects from Barnaul P.I. Anisifirov, S.G. Rybak and A.B. Schmidt.
          Maybe it's this charity or the Russian Orthodox Church which is supporting Father Georgy.

          The article mentions 20 years experience rather than 20 years residency. It would be interesting to find out which. Maybe the Temple for Antarctica charity could cast more light on this.

          Cheers

          Drummy

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          • #6
            Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

            Honestly, I did not even think of Wikipedia...

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            • #7
              Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

              Will a mosque be next??? That's a pretty cool lookin' hut, tho...

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              • #8
                Re: Longest period continually resident in Antarctica - Russian Orthodox Priest?

                It is rather, isn't it! If someone wants a mosque and has a site and the money to pay for it, why not?

                Drummy

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