A Big Cathedral, a Big Bill, and a Big Debate in Romania

merlin_147309783_c1360d88-b16a-478c-a1af-04a0b4d4500b-jumboSource: The New York Times

By Kit Gillet

BUCHAREST, Romania — Long past midnight, lines of worshipers snake through the central hall of the People’s Salvation Cathedral, in the heart of the Romanian capital.

The building — set to become the tallest Orthodox church in the world when finished in 2024 — is missing its largest dome, and the interior lacks the lavish iconography that Orthodox churches are known for.

But even in its unfinished state, the new cathedral is already being seen as an important symbol for Romania.

“Being the national cathedral, it is a big building, a representative one,” said Deacon Ionut Mavrichi, a Romanian Orthodox Church spokesman, describing the construction as a “soul project.”

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