There are more than 1,000 Orthodox churches, chapels in Russian prisons—Patriarch Kirill

Moscow, May 18, 2021

A prisoner is baptized in a Tatarstan prison. Photo: A prisoner is baptized in a Tatarstan prison. Photo:     

The Russian Orthodox Church has a strong presence in prisons throughout the country, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill said in a video message at the opening of the 29th International Educational Readings in Moscow yesterday.

According to the statistics brought forth by the Russian primate, there are more than 640 churches and chapels and more than 390 prayer rooms in penitentiary institutions. “Another 40 churches are under construction,” His Holiness added, reports the press service of the Russian Church.

Thanks to agreements signed at the federal and regional levels, regular spiritual education programs are held for prisoners, as well as cultural and educational events with the participation of the Church, Pat. Kirill said.

There is still much work to be done, however, and the Patriarch urged anyone who is interested to join in the Church’s ministry to prisoners.

In February 2018, five inmates in Tatarstan, Russia, were baptized in a font built by their fellow prisoners. Another seven inmates were baptized at the same prison church later that year.

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