95 Kenyan priests join Russian Exarchate, another 10 being checked

Moscow, February 14, 2022

Fr. George Maximov with priests and parishioners of the Russian Church's African Exarchate. Photo: Telegram Fr. George Maximov with priests and parishioners of the Russian Church's African Exarchate. Photo: Telegram     

After two weeks of visiting communities and serving throughout Kenya, Fr. George Maximov has moved on to Uganda. Thus, Metropolitan Leonid, the Russian Church’s Exarch of Africa summed up the results of Fr. George’s activity over the weekend.

Notably, 95 Orthodox priests in Kenya have decided to join the Moscow Patriarchate’s newly established African Exarchate, and the documents and biographies of another 10 are currently being examined, according to the Metropolitan.

As OrthoChristian previously reported, this number includes the overwhelming majority of priests from Alexandria’s Kisumu Diocese.

Fr. George visited 12 cities and villages, held 10 general clergy meetings and 7 private meetings, and served 3 Liturgies with a number of priests, in additional to molebens and panikhidas. Conversations were held with Protestant pastors and parishioners who have expressed an interest in becoming Orthodox, and with a priest of a schismatic Old Calendarist group who is interested in joining the Church.

150 Swahili prayer books, more than 200 icons, and more than 2,000 crosses were distributed, as well an antimens pectoral crosses, and Chrism for priests.

The Exarchate also established a number of commissions in Kenya: translation, missionary, educational, Sunday School, pastoral, health, Orthodox women’s movements, and youth, each with a priest in charge.

Meanwhile, Patriarch Theodoros has warned Fr. George and Fr. Andrei Novikov, who has been serving in Tanzania, that they will face canonical sanctions if they don’t stop serving on the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

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David2/16/2022 3:05 am
From reports, it looks like most of the priests who have left Alexandria are from the Kisumu Diocese. This suggests some serious problems existed there before the MP's "Exarchate." With that said, that doesn't mean that all of this is OK. Indeed, "this is temporary" rings hollow. There is nothing temporary about this, which makes this "Exarchate" such a problem. If Father Joachim's sentiment is widely shared, then those priests are not going to simply go back to Alexandria when the crisis is over. For all of the MP's talk about wanting to "resolve the crisis," this has and can only deepen it. What if Alexandria "repented" tomorrow? Would the MP tell all of those priests to return to Alexandria? Even if the MP did so, would those priests listen? Likely not. They would seek another "jurisdiction." You can't blame this on the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The MP didn't have to do any of this. If they were really concerned, they could have set up a truly temporary system in Africa based in the Russian Embassies of those countries----the MP has had no qualms about using the Russian Embassy as a base of operations in the past. No, this isn't about "healing Orthodoxy." The MP views the EP and Alexandria as enemies, and not brothers in Christ with whom they have a serious disagreement. This is geopolitics masquerading as canonical concern.
Rev.fr Joachim Joel Muindi2/15/2022 6:15 am
The Patriarch of Alexandria should stop insuing threats to our brothers from Russia.We chose to join Russian Orthodox out of our free will and choice!No amount of intimidation will deter us from fulfilling our desired dreams We are in The Russian Orthodox to stay.We are not under The Colony of The Greeks any more!
Alex2/15/2022 4:29 am
Alexandria...your foul deeds have reaped all of this!
Giorgos2/15/2022 2:29 am
Ok but please remind yourselfs: this is temporary, this is temporary,this is temporary
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