Russian Orthodox Church celebrates 160 years in the Holy Land
The opening of All Saints Church will be the climax of the celebrations.
The Orthodox Church, reportedly located on the site where John the Baptist was born, was begun in 1890 but was abandoned because of the Russian Revolution.
Welcoming the official opening of the new church, Patriarch Alexey II sent a message applauding the close relationship between the Russian and Greek Orthodox churches.
The site of the current Russian compound, in the heart of Jerusalem, is all that remains of a portfolio of property bought by Imperial Moscow to accommodate the hundred thousand Russian Orthodox pilgrims who travelled to the Holy Land every year.
For many believers, it was a dream to visit places associated with Christ at least once in a lifetime.