The Russian Orthodox Church plans to strengthen its presence on the African continent, Metropolitan Leonid, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, said. “We came there for a long time, we came there forever, no matter how events develop,” the hierarch said at a press conference, talking about the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa, Interfax informs.
In November 2019, Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore recognized the non-canonical Church of Ukraine (the OCU) created by the Phanar the year before. Meanwhile, many clergymen of the Church of Alexandria, whose canonical territory is Africa, did not agree with this and expressed a desire to transfer to the Moscow Patriarchate. At the end of December 2021, their request was granted: the Synod in Moscow received 102 priests from eight African countries in the Russian Orthodox Church. To date, more than 150 African clergy from 12 countries of the continent have already transferred to the ROC. At the same time, not only the clerics themselves cross, but also their flock.
Schools, almshouses, kindergartens and first-aid posts will be built under the auspices of the Russian Church in the places of its presence in Africa. “As far as our financial capabilities will allow us. Because you understand that these are all voluntary donations of those people who are not indifferent to the fate of the African continent,” the Metropolitan explained.
In addition, the Patriarchal Exarch said that the ROC would develop monastic communities in Africa. “There are already young men and women who want to join monastic communities, because, unfortunately, our brothers in Christ from the Greek Church paid little attention to this, but as we understand, monasticism is still a key stronghold of any Church, its engine and heart,” he said.
The Metropolitan invited caring young men and women to serve in new parishes in African lands: “Extra hands won’t be a hindrance. We will warmly welcome every person who wants to work on the African continent. This is history for us, and we are now forging this history together and do it with our hands.”