Jerusalem, June 25, 2013
Residents living near the Russian Ascension Convent in East Jerusalem (the Arab part of the city) are plaguing the Monastery.
“They break windows through our fence and make doors so that they may enter the Monastery right from their flats. They have frightened us and broken into our cells. That is why I do not lock my cell anymore,” related Monk Policarp (Agababov), who lives on the territory of the Monastery, in the documentary “Pilgrimage to the Holy Land” shown on the Russia-24 TV channel.
“When they penetrated my cell, fortunately it was not locked—otherwise they would have broken my door and I would have had to repair it. So they got in and overturned everything inside. But what does a monk have to steal?” he said.
Earlier Father Policarp was an opera singer and headed a musical theater in Moscow. Having visited the Holy Land as a pilgrim he became a monk there.
A parcel of land at the top of the Mount of Olives where, according to the tradition, the Ascension of Christ took place, was obtained in the 1860s by Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin), then Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. He built there a magnificent church dedicated to the Ascension of Christ.