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Orthodox Churches Don’t Need Building Permits — Russian Official

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Who needs a building permit when you have God’s will on your side?

At least that is the logic guiding a government official at the center of a dispute over the construction of a new church in St. Petersburg.

A disgruntled resident complained at a public hearing Monday that the Russian Orthodox Church was building a 32-meter-tall temple without the proper paperwork, the Fontanka.ru news website reported.

"Why do we have different building regulations for the Russian Orthodox Church, whereas no investor in the city has a right to build without receiving the necessary permits?" the resident asked.

"Is it possible for God’s temple to be built without permission? This is decided from above," Andrei Khobets, a local government official, was cited as saying in response.

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