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21 August 2007
Stepashin elected chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society

Moscow, June 14, Interfax - Sergey Stepashin, chairman of the Russian Audit Chamber, has been elected chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society at its meeting devoted to its 125th anniversary.

His name was blessed by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS) is the oldest Russian scholarly and humanitarian organization whose stated task is to promote Orthodox pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to carry out Palestinian studies and to maintain humanitarian cooperation with the Middle East peoples.

The principal aim of the Palestinian society at the present state is to undertake a full-scale restoration of its legal and actual presence both inside and outside Russia. One of its main tasks is to return the IOPS' property abroad, including that of St. Sergius's church mission, to Russia.

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