Several diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church to open centers for the integration of migrants

Moscow, February 14, 2011

Several dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church plan to open centers for the integration of migrant workers. The dioceses will be working together with the Federal Migration Service. Their first priority is to teach the Russian language to the millions of migrant workers who come to Russia from regions, former republics, and other foreign countries, and who are largely unfamiliar with Russian language and culture. The prospects for this project were discussed at a meeting of the representatives of the Synodal charities department and representatives of the Russian FMS, reports

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has stated that the problem of migrants' adaptation in Russia is one of the priority areas in which the Church can work together with the State. The Patriarch said at the recent annual Nativity Readings in Moscow that it is necessary to create a system of migrant integration, which would allow them to "learn the language, study the spiritual and religious traditions of the majority of the population, and understand its society's values."

The centers would work closely with the FMS, which would aide them in providing periodic consultations with people on applicable laws. Tatiana Bazhan, the head of the cooperative integration project of the FMS, noted two key problems that could hinder the project's work: the reluctance of employers to release the workers in order to attend, and the indifference of the migrants themselves. She stated, however, that these problems could be overcome through the local FMS representatives' efforts to convince the employers and workers of the need to make use of the centers.


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