Moscow, January 6, 2021
Throughout 2020, the Russian Church’s Synodal Department for Charity and Social Services sent more than $247,000 (18.5 million rubles) to 55 dioceses in Russia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, and East Timor for food for the poor.
“This year, there was a rise in social services. Many people had the desire to do good, to help others,” the department head, His Grace Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo, told journalists last week, reports Interfax-Religion.
Since June, more than 42,000 people in need received assistance. And with the support of the Synodal Department, 317,000 low-income people received nearly 1,100 tons of food through their local dioceses.
In Moscow, a specially-trained group of priests made 1,096 visits to coronavirus patients in 57 hospitals from April 2 to December 29.
Against the background of the epidemic, the number of appeals from the homeless dramatically increased. If before, no more than 100 people would come to the Church’s Hangar of Salvation daily, this year, 300 a day came to ask for help, Bp. Panteleimon said.
In 2020, Church social services, bishops, and priests also transferred aid to doctors and hospitals throughout Russia and abroad. Ventilators, oxygen concentrators, medicine, and equipment were provided, and Orthodox volunteers fed emergency medical teams.