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Stop Deportation of a Russian Icon Painter!

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Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY is a center of Russian Orthodox spirituality in the Western world. Fr. Kyprian Pyzhov, a White Russian emigre, came here after WWII, fleeing communist persecution. Fr. Kyprian established his own school of iconography at the monastery in Jordanville, rejecting the then-current realist style in favor of an ancient Russian iconographic style. In this, Fr. Kyprian was instrumental in the revival of classical Orthodox iconography during the twentieth century.

Fr. Kyprian died in 2001. He had several disciples of whom the most prominent is Fr. Andrei Erastov. Today the only iconographer in Fr. Kyprian's line who remains at Jordanville is Fr. Gabriel Astrahankine, who learned the art of iconography from Fr. Andrei Erastov.

Fr. Gabriel (Eugeni ) Astrahankine was born in 1965 in the USSR. In 1996 he came to America. He worked hard as a truck driver until in 2001 he joined Holy Trinity Monastery.

Fr. Gabriel lost his status and is no longer legal, and he is now under threat of deportation. Please sign this petition to stop Fr. Gabriel’s deportation so that the Jordanville monastery will not lose the last representative of its own iconographic school, who enriches both the life of the Russian Orthodox Church and the American art community by his presence.


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Andrei Psarev needs your help with “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Stop Deportation of a Russian Icon Painter!”. Join Andrei and 1,338 supporters today.