This are images of a building called the All Religions Temple, built by Ildar Khanov, “a Tatar artist and faith healer.” It’s located in the Russian city of Kazan. Once the seat of the 15th century Kazan Khanate, a successor state to the post-Mongol Golden Horde, Kazan has always been a crossroads between Islam and Christianity, and the city currently bills itself as the place “where Europe meets Asia.” Khanov’s intention with this remarkable structure is apparently to combine Islamic and Russian Orthodox influences to create a universal house of worship. According to Kazan’s official tourism website, “in opinion of Ildar Khanov, famous healer and public figure, all the religions are isometric and that is why there is no point in dividing them and performing religious disputes.”
I wish I knew more about this astonishingly beautiful building (as well as why all religions are ‘isometric’!). I discovered it on Wikipedia’s Kazan page, but there is very little information on the web about Khanov. I’m especially curious about his apparent status as a ‘famous healer’ among Kazanites (Kazanis?). The best English language source I could find online is this article from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. Read on:
For the past eight years, Khanov has been building the Church of All Faiths, a temple he hopes will house 16 different religions, an astronomical society, a puppet theater and a school of classical philosophy. Most of the worship halls are still under construction. Khanov, who financed the entire project himself, relies on donations of brick and glass from the people he heals, while patients he treats for drug addictions help with the construction. …Khanov’s plan to include a Catholic cathedral equipped with a separate bedroom for the Pope, whom he says has already agreed to visit the temple, left some students skeptical.“He really had me going until he started talking about a separate room for the Pope,” said student Dan Evans.Others found Khanov’s regimen of two hours of sleep, three hours of meditation and one meal a day strange. His insistence that he sees UFOs and communicates with Jesus Christ was met with skepticism by still more members of the group. But some were impressed by Khanov’s dogged pursuit of his vision.
Attention documentary filmmakers: please go to Kazan and make a film about this guy as soon as possible!