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The Russian Orthodox Church has come to Nigeria!

On February 19, 2022, Priest Georgy Maksimov, together with the local clergy of the African Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Bogoroditsky Church in the city of Lagos, and on February 20, a cathedral Liturgy was served near the town of Onich (Anambra State). On the eve of the ROC, three more priests were received, including Archimandrite Ambrose, the first Nigerian priest to take holy orders 35 years ago.

The coordinator of the Nigerian deanery, Archimandrite Nifont, said in a sermon: “Just as the prodigal son came to his father with repentance, so we come to the Russian Orthodox Church, and through His Holiness Patriarch Kirill we ask God: “Forgive us, Lord, that because of our ignorance we have found ourselves in unity with the schism, from which we are now moving away, and accept us into Your Holy Church, which has no union with the schism!”. During these years, Orthodoxy in Nigeria was dying, and we believe that through the Russian Orthodox Church God will revive it on our land “.

After the service, Priest George held a pastoral meeting, at which the paths for the further development of Orthodox life in the country were outlined. Including the future of priests, who expect to soon be expelled from churches and, in some cases, from apartments because of their choice.

It is worth noting that Archbishop Alexander of Nigeria is one of those bishops of the Alexandrian Church who supported the Ukrainian schism even before Patriarch Theodore did it. In particular, one can recall his boorish public response to the head of the DECR, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk in September 2019.

“It’s better for a Russian bishop to realize that he has no right at all to defame, correct, give advice, and also “threaten” bishops of other geographic latitudes with an escalation of the crisis. What did he want to say? That communion with the Church will be interrupted, which, you see, dared to disagree with the opinion of the Russian Church on the issue of Ukraine? But most likely, the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk does not realize that this will become a boomerang for the Russian Church, since it will be in complete isolation “…

“Let it be known to the Most Reverend Brother that Africa, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, will never become a protectorate of the Russian Church.”

It’s funny to re-read it now… It would have been better for them to heed the exhortations of Metropolitan Hilarion then… But history does not tolerate the subjunctive mood.

In total, there are about 16 priests in Nigeria. 7 already in the African Exarchate.

Patriarchal Exarch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa, Metropolitan Leonid of Klin

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