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Chancellor of Germany Visits St. Mary Church in Tomsk

Frau Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, expressed a desire to get acquainted with the restored building of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Mary and to meet parishioners of this church during the top summit of Russia and Germany held in the city of Tomsk. This visit took place after Frau Merkel visited the Russian-German House, where she conversed with the Russian Germans.

At first Angela Merkel spoke with parishioners of the Lutheran Church who were waiting for her outside. She spoke in Russian, which she learnt at school in East Germany. Frau Merkel spoke of Tomsk as a beautiful city, and the Lutherans of Tomsk invited her to come back in the summer (the temperature on the day of the summit was barely above freezing).

Then Angela Merkel proceeded to the church building. Deacon Alexander Hahn, who serves the two Lutheran congregations in Tomsk, described the situation with the church building and the local Lutheran community to the Chancellor. The bishop-elect of SELC, Vsevolod Lytkin (who also serves as the visiting Pastor at St. Mary), lighted the candle that Frau Merkel placed on the altar as a sign that the light of God shines in the church.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Commerce of Russia Alexei Kudrin, and other members of Russian and German delegations visited the new church building during the day.


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