Russian Church opens about 1,000 new parishes every year

Moscow, January 28, 2019

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The first decade of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s patriarchate has been marked by large-scale for the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarchal Press Secretary Fr. Alexander Volkov said a press conference in Moscow today, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Pat. Kirill’s election as Russian primate, reports Interfax-Religion.

“Today our Church has more than 38,000 parishes, which is about 10,000 more than in 2009. We can say about 1,000 parishes are opened annually, or about 2-3 a day,” Fr. Alexander explained.

Citing these figures, Fr. Alexander spoke about Russian society’s “undoubted demand” for Church life and how it has become much more enlightened about Christian issues in the past decade. This is facilitated, in particular, by the fact that about 40% of school children choose to take the course “Foundation of Orthodox Culture” introduced under Patriarch Kirill, Fr. Alexander said.

“The Russian Orthodox Church’s main concern at the present stage of development is the person,” the Press Secretary stressed. Along with that came the decision to increase the number of dioceses in the Russian Church, and today there are 182 more bishops in the Church than 10 years ago.

In late December 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk commented that at the current rate of growth, the number of parishes in the Russian Church would double within 25-30 years, reaching pre-revolutionary levels.

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