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Тамбовская область
The Church of St. John the Theologian in Rasskazovo

The first wooden church of St. John the Theologian was built in Rasskazovo after a few years after the village foundation and it is mentioned in the church records dated by 1702. Since the 18th century the church of St. John the Theologian had been the center of the deanery district. At the beginning of the 1820s the dilapidating building was demolished. The new stone three-altar church in the name of St. John the Theologian had only been built by 1879 (the construction works took 24 years). The main altar was consecrated in the name of St. John the Theologian, the right one – in the name of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, and the left one – in honor of Alexander Nevsky. The new church looked elegant – its interior was decorated with stuccos. There was a three-level belfry with large bells and a tent-shaped dome. This church was built with the voluntary offerings mainly donated by landlords K. Kryuchenkov and the brothers-manufacturers Aseyevs.

The church persecution started right after the revolution. In May, 1918, during the confiscation of the parish registers from Rasskazovo village parish church, the parishioners decided not to give the registers away and keep them by the church. The incident ended up with a bloody conflict between the peasants and armed detachment of the Red Army soldiers. The comittee sent from Tambov together with punitive force arrested the clergy and parishioners (later this was included into the materials for the criminal case against Patriarch Tikhon). In the end of 1923 church property and the church itself were handed over to the renovation community. Believers tried in vain to dispute the decision. In 1929, the church dome was pulled down and the church was “temporarily” closed. In 1937, it was closed officially. They managed to dismantle the upper level of the belfry and remove the roof covering. Tin roof coverings were sold for the production of buckets and tubs. The old town cemetery near the church suffered from plunder during those years too. The tombs of honorable citizens were plundered and burnt. The family burial vault of the Aseyevs was topped with a water tank for the needs of the fire-fighting brigade. But the war interrupted complete destruction of the church. In 1943, it was returned to believers and divine services were resumed in 1945.

Today the church of St. John the Theologian has been pronounced a monument of architecture and history.  

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3, Kuybyshevsky passage, Rasskazovo, Tambov region
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