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Synagogue opens in Moscow prison

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(JTA) — A synagogue opened inside a Moscow prison.

The synagogue in the Russian capital’s Detention Center No. 2, known as Butyrskaya prison, is the fifth operating in the country’s prisons and emerged through an agreement between the Russian army rabbinate and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, according to chabad.org. The other four are in regional cities.

At the opening ceremony, Col. Viktor Dezhurov, Moscow director of Russia’s Federal Corrections Service, told chabad.org that visiting a synagogue would give prisoners the opportunity to reconsider their past deeds.

The corrections service has registered about 400 Jewish inmates in Russian prisons. Most have been convicted of white-collar crimes.

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