Yuri Novgorodov, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan, said his planting of a linden tree in the Luther Garden in Wittenberg, Germany, in December represents the bond between his church and Mecklenberg, Germany.
"The [former] Soviet regime didn't like the Christians inside the Soviet Union to have any connection with the churches outside," he explained. "But the Lutherans in Astana (the capital of Kazakhstan) found a helping hand from the church in Mecklenburg. ... For me, the planting of this tree is a symbol of our coming back into the family of all the Lutheran churches in the world."
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