Court Rules Russian Orthodox Church Prayers as Valid Form of Debt Repayment

February 12, 2016 Updated: February 12, 2016

MOSCOW—A Russian regional court has ruled that an Orthodox Church diocese can repay part of an outstanding debt in prayers rather than money.

In a ruling that went viral Thursday, the Nizhegorodsky Regional Court said the local Russian Orthodox Church diocese can repay 258,000 rubles ($3,244) it owes for the installation of a boiler system—along with an additional 65,000 rubles ($817) in fines and legal fees—by praying for the health of the company that installed the system.

According to the court ruling, which was issued in October, the procedure cost 916,000 rubles ($11,561), of which the diocese originally paid approximately half. The diocese still owes an additional 200,000 rubles ($2,525) for the boiler system, which the court said should be paid in money.

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