27 Jul 2023 19:56

Russian Orthodox Church opens more than 200 parishes in Africa in 1.5 years

MOSCOW. July 27 (Interfax) - The Russian Orthodox Church has opened more than 200 parishes on the African continent since December 2021, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.

"The Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa has opened more than 200 parishes in 25 African countries in the past one and a half years. Besides developing ministry life, it has been possible to start implementing many humanitarian [and] educational projects, in particular to translate books into local languages, and many other things", he said at the Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

The exarchate's activities have made African people very interested in the Russian Orthodox Church, the patriarch said. "Many appreciate that we are a Church that carefully preserves [our] apostolic heritage and teaching about the sacraments and spiritual experience, [and] a Church that does not distort the moral norms proclaimed by God to suit fashionable ideologies," he said.

The Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa was created after the patriarch of Alexandria, which Africa was considered the canonical territory of, recognized the Ukrainian schism. Following this, dozens of African priests who disagreed with the decision made by their patriarch asked to join the Russian Orthodox Church. The Synod in Moscow founded the exarchate in response to requests from the African clergy.