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Sharjah: In a country dotted with majestic mosques, the Russian Orthodox Church in Sharjah is truly a sight to behold for visitors and residents alike. Since opening its doors in August 2011, the St Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church in Sharjah emirate of the UAE has become a pillar of support for the Russian expatriate community living in the country, say church leaders.
The 1,800 square-meter complex in Al Yarmook area is not only a church, but a cultural hub, they say. Al Yarmook area in Sharjah has been earmarked for churches belonging to different denominations and countries, so one can come across the Armenian, Ethiopian, Anglican and Indian churches in a neat stretch of land. Standing tall and regal among them, the Russian church is a picture of beauty with five blue domes and gold gilded cross atop them dazzling in the desert sun. The church is a popular tourist destination for Christian visitors to Dubai and Sharjah. The complex can accommodate up to 3,000 worshippers and is the largest Russian Orthodox Church in the region, and the first in the UAE. There are approximately 20,000 Russians residing in the UAE who are members of the Russian Orthodox Church.