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Moscow Buddhist Center "Three Jewels"

In conjunction with the 60-th jubilee celebrations of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and in response to the numerous requests of war veterans and Buddhist religious associations in Tuva, the Head of the republic addressed the Moscow Government for the first time in 2005 with a request to provide the land plot for construction of Buddhist memorial temple in the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill. This temple was dedicated to the citizens of the Republic of Tuva, Buryatia, Kalmykia, Trans-Baikal Territory and the Irkutsk region, the Buddhists who met their heroic end in the glorious fights with the enemy on the war fronts. The Buddhist temple will have an enormous social and cultural significance as its construction will be carried out in Moscow, the capital of our country, in a unique and sacred for Russians memorial complex of the "Victory Park". It will serve as a symbol of mutual understanding, friendship and unity of the peoples of the modern Russia.

The temple will also serve for a patriotic education of youth, since the building of the temple provides facilities for the storage and dissemination of knowledge about the historical events of the war, spiritual development and moral heroism of the peoples of Russia, who struggled for freedom, peace and their homeland in the Great Patriotic War of 1941- 1945 years. In accordance with the applicable legislation of the Russian Federation, only a registered local religious organization may act in the capacity of the official customer for the worship object construction. In connection with the idea of a memorial Buddhist temple in the Victory Park construction, the autonomous local religious organization Moscow Buddhist Center "Tuva" was established in 2007 and registered in judicial authorities of the Russian Federation upon the initiative of a Moscow group of Buddhist believers from Tuva. At the end of 2009 it was renamed, with more acceptable name to all Russian Buddhists: Moscow Buddhist Center "Three Jewels". Our religious organization undertook the entire volume of organizational concerns about documenting the project and the future process of building a Buddhist memorial temple on Poklonnaya Hill.

Initially there were two major areas defined in the activity: Firstly, it was necessary to consolidate the Buddhist community around the idea of building a Buddhist temple in commemoration of those Buddhists, who fell the victims in the Great Patriotic War of 1941- 1945. Secondly, methodically and consistently to engage in the issues of presentation the project to the competent authorities and procurement of the relevant authorization documents in Moscow executive power bodies. In the first case, with consideration that the church should respond to the needs and interests of the peoples of the traditional Russian regions of Buddhism, regardless of their line of spiritual succession and nationality, we carried out a meticulous and long-term activity on the consolidation of the Russian Buddhist community around this project. Today we can say it for sure, that the construction of a Buddhist temple in the Victory Park initiative has received the full support of Buddhist leaders in Tuva, Buryatia, Kalmykia, the Trans-Baikal Territory and the Irkutsk region, as well as these regions public as a whole. Many thanks should be extended for the support of the State Duma deputies L.K. Shoygu, I.D. Kobzon, M.A. Mukabenova, V.M. Slipenchuk and O.S. Korolyova, the Advisor of the Domestic Policy Administration under the President of Russia Authority. The second line of the activity required a strict control and attention. There occurred seemingly insurmountable obstacles stemming from the Russian Federation and the city of Moscow land legislation. The land in Moscow has undergone full classification procedure; and in order to get any land plot one must pass the competitive selection at the bidder. The "Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tuva and the Moscow Government on trade, economic, scientific- technical and cultural cooperation" of 2009, which provides for cooperation on the issue of the construction project of Buddhist memorial of worship in the territory of the Victory Park in Moscow, helped in this issue settlement.

Thanks to Mr. Sh.V. Kara-ool, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tuva and the Mayor of Moscow S.S. Sobyanin this Agreement has been extended. At present the executive bodies of the Moscow Government are actively helping our religious organization in obtaining the relevant documents for the project realization. The formation of the public Board of Trustees for construction of a Buddhist temple in the Victory Park has been completed, as well as created an Organizational Council. The Board of Trustees embraces the representatives from the Republic of Tuva, Buryatia, Kalmykia, Trans-Baikal Territory and the Irkutsk region. Among them are the heads of the regions and the regional Buddhist spiritual leaders, deputes of the regions in the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The Board of Trustees members are also representatives of the Moscow executive authorities. Today, the amount of fulfilled work seems unreal. Hundreds of letters, papers, calls, visits, meetings, sittings, discussions, and a lot more. It could not have been done by 2 or 3 people, with a zero balance of the religious organization and the absence of staff members. What did it cost only to register a religious organization, and then to re-register it? Of course, there was a help of different people and organizations; we thank the staff of the Moscow Committee on Relations with Religious Organizations, Moscow Committee on Architecture, Property, Russian President Administration, deputies of the Federal Assembly and the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, it was some negative developments, such as: the introduction of dubious and hasty proposals on the agenda, misunderstanding and even mistrust to consideration of some issues etc. The Republic of Tuva has initiated the project, which is historical for the whole Russia, of the first Buddhist temple on the Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow construction. It is important for us all to hold high the honor and responsibility of its accomplishment. We cannot allow ourselves any differences. Only our single-hearted unity can bring all the Buddhist community of Russia to the ultimate goal. In the words of one of the famous Buddhist wisdom: Unable to help - at least do no harm.

However, there are still questions that leave room for concern, and will not allow to relax in the future. This, above all, is the material and financial side of things. Unfortunately, the "Buddhist" regions are located on the outskirts of Russia, they are still subsidized and business here is yet not widely developed and its charitable opportunities are limited. However, Russia is great, the aim is noble, and Buddhism has been developing for several millennia. Through overall efforts and strong faith we can overcome all the difficulties and the temple will be built. We are sure!