Russian church rides the rails

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As if recovering from seventy years of godless Communism wasn’t bad enough for the Russian Orthodox church, the fall of the regime has brought a whole new challenge: flocks of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and emissaries from other overseas religions competing with the old church for unsaved Slavic souls. In response, the Orthodox church has launched a church-on-wheels to spread the word.

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The GUARDIAN UNLIMITED reports that the rolling church has been painstakingly outfitted with a pulpit and altar, stained glass, and gold leaf worth more than US$70,000 — making it, as a train factory official bragged, “the most expensive carriage in all Russia.” Drunks and beggars were shooed out of the station so Patriarch Alexei II could come sprinkle the train with holy water to send it on its way.

The train will carry a team of six priests and 12 trainee clerics to remote, churchless villages in the far north, where an intensive line-up of weddings, funerals, and christenings await them.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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