Moscow, January 1, 2019
At its session in the Patriarchal and Synodal Residence in Danilov Monastery in Moscow on December 28, 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church considered the Church affairs in Western European countries (Minutes No. 105) and countries in South-East Asia (Minutes No. 106).
It was decided to form a Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the center in Paris. The pastoral sphere of responsibility includes the following countries: Andorra, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxemburg, Portugal, France, and Switzerland.
Bishop John of Bogorodsk has been appointed as head of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the title Bishop of Korsun and Western Europe. His Grace John is appointed as ruling bishop of the Diocese of Korsun while retaining the temporary administration over the Russian Orthodox Church Parishes in the Republic of Italy.
The Synod also decided to form a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Spain and Portugal with the center in Madrid. Bishop Nestor of Korsun has been appointed as ruling bishop of the Diocese of Spain and Portugal, with the title of Bishop of Madrid and Lisbon.
In addition, in connection with the considerable progress made by the mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the countries of South-East Asia and expressed by an increased number of churches and communities, the emergence of clergy from among the local population, and an increased interest in Russian Orthodoxy and in connection with an increase in the Russian-speaking population residing in that region, it was decided to form a Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia with the center in Singapore.
The sphere of pastoral responsibility in this exarchate includes the following countries: Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Archbishop Sergei of Solnechnogorsk has been appointed as head of the Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia with the title of Archbishop of Singapore and South-East Asia, while temporarily remaining the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's administrative secretariat.