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My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Russian Orthodox Church quadrupled her parishes during two decades

From Interfax:
Russian Orthodox Church quadrupled her parishes during two decades

Moscow, September 14, Interfax - Today there are four times as many parishes and almost four times as many monasteries as it was twenty years ago in the Russian Orthodox Church.

According to the figures, announced by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia during his meeting with members of Valday Discussion Club held in Moscow on Thursday, in 1987 the Russian Orthodox Church had 6800 parishes, 19 monasteries, and three theological colleges, while by January 1, 2007 the church had 27300 parishes, 716 monastic houses, and 70 theological colleges and universities.

Many parishes on the Moscow Patriarchate have been established abroad, the primate said, yet ‘it should not scare or surprise anybody.’

The recent two decades made Russia experience fundamental changes in all spheres including spirituality, he noted.

‘Those who were in the Soviet Union twenty years ago and come here again can hardly recognize the country. There are a new country and new possibilities, the people have new rights and new freedoms,’ the patriarch said.

Spiritual life ‘miraculously’ revives in Russia, he said, and this proves that ‘the faith survived in people’s hearts and passed on from generation to generation even under the godless regime.’

The patriarch called the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, where he met the club’s members, a symbol not only of religious revival ‘but also of a new Russia.’ The number of younger people coming to church today has also substantially raised, Alexy II noted.

‘When we traveled abroad in 1960s or 1970s we could often hear, ‘Who comes to your churches but old ladies?’ Now everything has changed. We have many children, youth, and middle-aged people,’ the primate said.

‘Yet we gratefully remember those old ladies who bought up their grandchildren as believers in Christ. It is due to them that the faith survived in our people,’ he noted.



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