Russian Orthodox Church

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Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow

The Russian Orthodox Church (actually Russian e Orthodox Church: Russian Русская Православная Церковь , Russkaya Prawoslawnaja Zerkow ) is the largest autocephalous Orthodox Church . Its chief has the title of Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia , which is why it is also known as the Moscow Patriarchate ( Russian Московский патриархат , Moskovsky Patriarchate ). Its canonical territory includes the territory of the former USSR (with the exception of Georgia and Armenia ), as well as China , Japan and Mongolia , with their parts each having an autonomous status in many independent states. Are beyond as Russian Orthodox Church eparchies of the Diaspora (autonomous Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia ) and in the broadest sense, some breakaway churches ( Old Believers called). According to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed , the Orthodox Churches of the Patriarchate of Moscow form, together with the other Orthodox Churches, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church . Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral is the largest Russian Orthodox church building .



Viktor Vasnetsov : Baptism of Vladimir (1890)

The Orthodox Church in Russia was built after Grand Duke Vladimir I , ruler of the Kievan Rus , was baptized in 988 , an event that marked the beginning of the Christianization of the Rus (Russian Крещение Руси), in the course of which also the population was baptized. The acceptance of Greek Orthodox Christianity with dogma , cult , church doctrine, canon law and constitution shaped the culture of the Eastern Slavs in many ways. The rule-supporting doctrine of the Greek Orthodox Church that all government comes from God strengthened the position of the Prince of Kiev considerably. By accepting the faith, the prestige of the Kiev princes increased, whereby the Kiev empire also received equality with the other Christian peoples. Especially during the Tatar rule , the growing together of the principalities of the Rus under Moscow leadership was driven by the unifying faith. At the same time, the Kiev empire distinguished itself from the Latin -influenced western world by adopting Christianity of the Greek Orthodox faith . This religious border led to a proprietary development of East Slavic or Old Russian culture, which until the 18th century under the secularization efforts I. Peters reduced.

The lower, sloping crossbar of the Russian Orthodox cross symbolizes the transition from "hell" to "heaven". Another interpretation is that Jesus was forced to put his feet on them, giving the impression of a humiliating position of kneeling.
The St. Sophia Cathedral in the Novgorod Kremlin is the second oldest surviving Russian Orthodox church building.

As a part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople , the Church of Kiev was initially administered by exarchs , which did not affect the political independence of the Kiev Grand Dukes. The first metropolitans came from Greece and Bulgaria . The metropolitan seat was initially Kiev , from 1299 de facto Vladimir , where Metropolitan Maxim moved his residence, and from 1325 at the request of Metropolitan Peter officially Moscow . The last Greek metropolitan was Isidore of Kiev , who was deposed in 1441 by the Moscow Grand Duke Vasily II because of his approval of the Church Union of Florence . On December 15, 1448, five years before the fall of Constantinople , which was already increasingly incapable of acting , the Synod of Russian Bishops elected Bishop Iona of Ryazan as "Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia", who was also Isidor of the Patriarch, without the prior consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople future successor had been designated. The fact that they made this choice themselves and only left the patriarch's confirmation, meant a de facto separation from the Byzantine mother church. In January 1589 a Moscow church synod proposed three candidates to Tsar Fyodor I to fill the newly established patriarchate in Moscow. The Tsar elected the previous Moscow Metropolitan Iow . An ecumenical synod in Constantinople with the participation of all patriarchs of the Eastern Church confirmed the establishment of the new patriarchate in Moscow in 1590 and assigned it - after Jerusalem - the fifth rank.

Because of its many churches and monasteries and its importance for Orthodox Christianity, Kiev had been known as the Jerusalem of the North , or the Jerusalem of the East, since the Middle Ages . Furthermore, Kiev is called the mother of all Russian cities because of its historical role .


In 1652, the then Patriarch Nikon initiated the first reform of the Russian rite. It was claimed that the Russian rite - due to errors in copying the church records - deviated from the original Greek text and rite. This position served as a justification for Nikon and his supporters to carry out church reforms. Those who denied the legality of these revisions were given the anathema at the council of 1666-1667 . These events led to a schism , and since then the Old Orthodox (also called Old ritualists or Old Believers ) have existed separately from the main church. Opponents of these church reforms were persecuted and tens of thousands were executed. In 1971 the large church of the Moscow Patriarchate lifted the curse on the Old Russian rite.

Abolition of patriarchy

As early as 1721, 132 years after the founding of the patriarchate, the patriarch was replaced by a holy synod ( holiest ruling synod ) under secular control under the western-minded Tsar Peter I as part of the Petrine reforms based on the German - Lutheran model . The result was an increasingly secularization of the church and its amalgamation with the Russian establishment; As a spokeswoman for the poor and the oppressed, she largely failed.

Reintroduction of patriarchy

After the first Russian revolution in 1905 , far-reaching reform efforts gradually arose in the church. As a result, the patriarchy was reintroduced in 1917 and occupied by Archbishop Tichon , who was considered modern and energetic; In 1918 the church and state were separated in Russia. Most of the other planned reforms did not take place because of the persecution that began, but the plans at that time have been cautiously taken up again since the end of the Soviet Union.

After the October Revolution

After the October Revolution of 1917, the relationship between church and state was tense, and they took opposing positions. The Soviet power saw in the Russian Orthodox Church an ally of the Russian tsarism, which despite its overthrow, continued to champion the exploitative social order that it wanted to eliminate. The church, in turn, was linked to the traditional order through origins, upbringing and property. She saw her social primacy with the privileges, possibilities of action and property rights as a prerequisite for her service to human welfare. The aim of the revolution, which was aimed at realizing basic human concerns, was misunderstood by the church hierarchy and the church lay people.

The Declaration of November 2, 1917 on the Rights of the Peoples of Russia abolished all religious privileges, including the privileges of the Russian Church. The basic decree of January 1918 "On the separation of the church from the state and schools from the church" prescribed freedom of conscience and freedom to practice religion on the one hand, and on the other prohibited religious communities the right to property and the compulsory collection of monetary contributions. All state payments to churches, clergymen and religious teachers were stopped in 1918. Two decrees of 1917 on the ownership of land concerned not only the lands of landlords and the crown, but also those of the church and monasteries, which until then had formed their most important material basis. Compared to the time before 1917, when there were 54,174 churches, about 26,000 chapels and 1,025 monasteries, in 1936 there were only about 100 churches in which the liturgy was still read regularly (“working churches”), and not a single monastery. Thousands of church buildings fell victim to a kind of iconoclasm by demolishing them or repurposing them profane. The Bolsheviks carried out massive persecution of Christians , especially in the early years of the Soviet Union , under Lenin and Stalin there were mass executions and deportations to the Gulag .

In order to consolidate the patriotic church and to obtain state recognition, the relationship to the Soviet state had to be regulated. To do this, the patriotic church had to reorient itself and realize the legally established separation of church and state. In June 1927, Metropolitan Sergi was able to obtain official registration of the Russian Orthodox Church. A declaration of June 1927 gave new expression to the attitude of the church towards the state and society. It emphasized the need to remain orthodox and at the same time also loyally serve the Soviet power. The Soviet Union must be recognized as a civil home.

In the outskirts of the Soviet Union, but also in other parts of the world, there were numerous communities, including those that had been formed from emigrants from the former tsarist empire after the revolution. In 1920 they created a Russian church leadership abroad to which around 1,000 parishes and 24 monasteries were subordinate. This Russian Orthodox Church abroad continued to regard itself as an inseparable part of the overall Russian Church. After the Serbian city of their Bishops' Conference Sremski Karlovci it was called the "Karlowitz direction". Although the declaration of 1927 had been signed by Metropolitan Sergi as deputy patriarchal administrator and the eight members of the provisional Holy Synod, she rejected it as a "declaration of loyalty". The "clearly anti-Soviet demeanor of some of our pastors and pastors abroad have seriously damaged the relations between the government and the Church," it read. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad then severed its administrative ties with the Russian mother church and administered itself.

Engagement in World War II

A clear shift in the relationship between state and church only occurred after the German attack on the Soviet Union , so that from 1941 the life of faith began to develop again. The believing people reopened around 10,000 churches without being hindered by the German occupiers.

Stalin reacted positively to this, also with regard to the political perspective of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. On September 4, 1943, three high-ranking bishops had a nocturnal conversation with Stalin, soon after the patriarchal administrator Metropolitan Sergi was elected patriarch. At the same time, declarations of solidarity from bishops towards the attacked fatherland and its communist leadership strengthened the reputation of the church. When Metropolitan Sergi called for donations to finance a tank column, this unit was incorporated into the Red Army in 1944 . In January 1945 Alexij I was elected patriarch.

After the Second World War

After the end of the Second World War , the church was again tolerated to a limited extent, but was under strict state control and always had to reckon with repression measures. The communist leadership in Moscow used the church leadership in the interests of its own foreign policy, initially anti-ecumenist (Council 1948), from 1961 onwards in the World Council of Churches pro-ecumenist. At home and abroad, the Church, and especially its official leadership, found itself in an ambivalent situation. The persecution under Khrushchev in the early 1960s was followed by further distress in the Brezhnev era. The number of churches steadily decreased from around 14,000 in 1948 to 6,794 in 1987. Walter Laqueur writes that the church was completely infiltrated by the secret service; in the end she was "practically integrated into the apparatus of the GPU / NKDW / KGB", and many clerics were informants. A rise in the system from the level of bishop would have been impossible without the blessing of the KGB and the Politburo.

Russian Orthodoxy Abroad

After the Second World War, the communities in the communist sphere of influence (Eastern Europe, Eastern Germany) were incorporated into the Moscow Patriarchate.

In 1945, Patriarch Alexi repeated Tikhon's invitation to members of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad to return to the Mother Church. Over the years, many parishes and clergy also returned, but the official reunification with the Patriarchate of Moscow, as an autonomous church, did not take place until 2007.

In other countries, especially in Germany, the USA, South America and Australia, around 400 new refugee communities formed after 1945.

The Archdiocese of Brussels also uses an old chapel in Laeken , which is dedicated to Saint Anne and was commissioned by Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain in 1625 , next to the Saint Anne's spring .

Holy Land

The conflict in the Holy Land caused by Soviet policy was particularly sharp . In the 19th century a very active pilgrimages had developed with trips to the ancient holy sites in Russia and the Tsar considered themselves against the Ottoman Empire as patrons of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, which there represent the majority of Christians. The Russian Church, and the Russian State, also owned extensive land in Palestine, including many monasteries with Russian monks.

After Israel was recognized by the Soviet Union in 1948, Russian Orthodox church property was transferred to the Soviet state by the State of Israel . Monks and nuns fled to Jordan, but also came to England. On January 27, 1964, the Soviet Union sold the Russian Orthodox Church's property in Israel to Israel for $ 4.5 million  . After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel did not transfer any ecclesiastical property in East Jerusalem or the occupied territories to the USSR. However, this was undertaken by the Palestinian Authority under Arafat: The monasteries in Hebron in 1997 and Jericho in 2000 were forcibly taken, which severely disrupted the rapprochement process that began between the two parts of the Russian Church in 1993–1997. The preliminary talks that took place between the two Russian Orthodox dioceses in Germany were interrupted.

In the new Russia

In Russia, a new relationship between church and state had already become clear in the course of the preparations for the 1000th anniversary of the baptism of Russia in 1988, only to be rewritten with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The church, freed from government control, strove for a monopoly; ecumenism was far removed from it in its “chauvinism that went beyond patriotism and national pride”. According to Laqueur, she would not have wanted to accept that millions of people in Russia were of another denomination or religion. In 1993, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were reissued with the blessing of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg (and again in 2013 with the blessing of the Archbishop of Tarnopol).

At the Moscow Council of 2000, the canonization of new martyrs who had been in opposition to the official Moscow Patriarchate was carried out. Furthermore, the new “social doctrine” declared the positions of the “Declaration of Loyalty” of 1927 to be factually invalid. Both sides took steps towards rapprochement, first through two historic conferences, 2001 in Szentendre / Hungary and 2002 in Moscow. In 2004 dialogue commissions were set up, the work of which was accepted by the councils of both parts of the Russian Church, so that in the “act of canonical communion” the separation caused by the Soviet era on May 17, 2007 in the Moscow Christ the Redeemer Cathedral , in the presence of the New York Metropolitan Laurus (Lawr, Laurus Shkurla ) and Patriarch Alexius II and in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin , was officially declared over.

The National Council of 1990 elected Alexius II as Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. After his death on December 5, 2008, Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad was elected on December 6, 2008 as transitional governor (" locum tenens ") of the patriarchal office for a term of maximum six months. On January 27, 2009, Cyril of Smolensk and Kaliningrad was elected as the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Kyrill I at his enthronement in 2009

The Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a renaissance since the fall of the Soviet Union . In 2011 it again had around 150 million members. Almost 30,000 churches have reopened, 5,000 of them between 2009 and 2016 alone. Several large cathedrals have been rebuilt or rebuilt. This includes, for example, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Kaliningrad . The number of dioceses increased from 159 to 296 between 2009 and 2016.

One of the most famous Russian Orthodox monasteries is since 1993 as a World Heritage Site excellent Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius .

After the emergence of independent states from the Soviet Union, their own national Orthodox churches were formed. The Belarusian Orthodox Church , the Moldavian Orthodox Church , the Russian Orthodox Church in Kazakhstan and the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church remained with the Moscow Patriarchate. Other churches like the Estonian Orthodox Church broke up.

The canonization of the last Tsar and his family, who had been killed under Lenin, was highly controversial within the Church . As a compromise, they were canonized, but not officially named martyrs . Vladimir Putin is emphatically believing today.

In its ecumenical contacts the church distances itself from other churches whose ministers do not live in accordance with Russian Orthodox ideas about the roles of men and women (e.g. Gene Robinson and Margot Käßmann ).

In July 2008, the Russian Orthodox Church adopted its basic doctrine on dignity, freedom and human rights. This teaching document builds on the social doctrine adopted in August 2000 and serves as the basis for social dialogue on human rights issues at national and international level. The Russian Orthodox Church played a key role in drafting the Russian Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the World Council of the Russian People in 2006 .

In spite of the high number of visitors to the ROK, church attendance had hardly increased in surveys; Although the proportion of those questioned who professed their support for the ROK doubled from 31 percent to 72 percent between 1991 and 2008, only 7 percent attended a church service at least once a month. Attendance at the rites in Russia in 2019 was described as low or even in decline, thousands of churches in rural areas fell into disrepair, while prestige buildings in cities had high priority.

With regard to relations with the state, the Russian Orthodox Church orients itself, in accordance with Orthodox tradition, on the ideal of the symphony between church and state. According to Boris Reitschuster , the Metropolitan of Wolokolamsk, Ilarion, had already brought up the re-establishment of the monarchy . The church also unites in its anti-westernism with the state and its propaganda .


Since 2006, religious instruction has been reintroduced in Russian schools. The Russian Orthodox Church also advocates strengthening the Russian state and developing national spiritual values.

The most important educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church are the Moscow Spiritual Academy , the Spiritual Academy Saint Petersburg and the Orthodox University “St. John the Theologian ” in Moscow. There are also the St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary , the Volgograd Orthodox University , the St. Philaret Higher Theological School and the Minsk Theological Faculty . In the 2016/2017 academic year, 5,877 students prepared for ordination in the seminaries of the Moscow Patriarchate. The number of candidates for the priesthood who entered the seminaries rose to 1,593 students in the same academic year.

Return of church property

In November 2010, the Russian Duma passed a law to return church property expropriated in 1917.

This law sparked discussions in the Kaliningrad Oblast , which did not belong to Russia in 1917 and where the Russian Orthodox Church did not own any property, as there property formerly used by Evangelical Lutheran or Roman Catholic congregations fell to the Orthodox Church. This was justified by the fact that, in contrast to the Orthodox Church, these faiths are no longer present in this region to a large extent.

Civil society protests

For years, protesters in St. Petersburg fought against the handover of St. Isaac's Cathedral to the ROK. In northern Moscow, despite intimidation by nationalist paramilitary groups on the part of the ROK and criminal proceedings by the state, citizens demonstrated against a church project. In 2019, citizens of Yekaterinburg peacefully protesting against a new building of the Three Kings Cathedral, which had been razed in 1930, were attacked by thugs, while state propaganda by propagandists such as Vladimir Solovyov described the "demons" who attacked Orthodoxy. However, the state rule of the words "enemies of Russia" began to wear off.

Competence dispute with the Patriarchate of Constantinople over the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine

According to the historian Andreas Kappeler, Ukraine had been characterized by a polyethnic character for centuries, but until 1949 Ukrainians and Russians were the largest groups due to deportations , resettlement, emigration and murder. In March 1946, a “staged synod” repealed the Brest Union of 1596. "With this, all Ukrainians were united in the Russian Orthodox Church by force," writes Kappeler. Repression was supposed to silence the United Church. In August 1987 a committee had started a campaign to return churches in Galicia to the Uniate, which the ROK fought against but was carried out by the majority of priests and parishes. By renaming the Russian Orthodox Church to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church reacted to the challenges posed by representatives of the Autocephalous Church, some of whom were returning to Ukraine from exile.

On September 14, 2018, the Russian Orthodox Church froze contact with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople . The Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously appointed two exarchs in Kiev. This was preceded by an initiative by the Ukrainian government to achieve independence (autocephaly) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This was supported by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOK), but opposed by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). The latter falls under the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church and is an important tool for Moscow's influence in Ukraine. In Russia, politics, secret services and religious institutions are closely linked. Russian priests blessed the weapons of Russian soldiers fighting against Ukraine in the Donbas, but refused to give final escort to the Ukrainian soldiers who had fallen in Donbas. In a speech to the Ukrainian parliament, Petro Poroshenko emphasized the geopolitical aspect of a Ukrainian national church in the current conflict with Russia. The religious independence of Ukraine is also a question of independence and national security, said Poroshenko. In August 2018, reported the Associated Press that the Russian hacker collective ATP28 in the e-mail accounts of several senior Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Opel and assistants of Bartholomew I. had penetrated. The establishment of a new Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine is likely to result in the secession of part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), which will join the new jurisdiction.

In 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church took the position that the canonical rules forbade one autocephalous church from interfering in the affairs of the recognized field of another autocephalous church. Against this persistence in the status quo stands the orthodox practice, according to which national patriarchates are recognized, as had already happened with the Estonian Church in 1990 , whereby there was also a temporary break between Moscow and Constantinople at that time. Bartholomeos I also identified a need for action "because Moscow, which is responsible for the current situation in Ukraine, is unable to resolve the matter". By contrast, leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church warned against "bloodshed". Bartholomeos I said that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople does not threaten anyone and does not allow itself to be threatened by anyone. “We only fear God,” he said.

The Russian investigative newspaper Novaja Gazeta called those arguments of priests of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, who spoke out against independence, “purely political”. In the run-up to the decision, she described: "The entire apparatus of the Moscow Patriarchate and the means of state propaganda are being mobilized for a 'holy war' against the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is declared a traitor to the faith and a pathetic servant of the American State Department" , while a canon law expert quoted statements from leaders of the ROK on Radio SRF , according to which it was a "declaration of war" on Constantinople.

On October 10th, Bartholomeos I decided on the occasion of a bishops' conference in Istanbul that the Ukrainian churches could organize themselves independently. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church then announced on October 15, 2018 that it would break off contact with the ecumenical patriarchate "as long as this decision remains in force". Strictly speaking, believers of the Russian Orthodox Church would be forbidden from praying in an Orthodox church in most places abroad, be it in Paris or in Greece, which is popular with Russians. In Athos, as in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, donations from Russian pilgrims played an important role up to this point. Officials made blatant threats for the future should these pilgrimage sites remain on Constantinople. But whether the believers follow the official line of the ROK on this point or, on the contrary, would result in “mass disobedience”, Novaya Gazeta wondered .

Bartholomeos I recommended the Russian Orthodox Church to look at its own "weakening" of the Ecumenical Patriarchate through the independence of so many peoples in the Balkans and to weigh up the importance of internal self-government and church independence. Moscow “is looking for conflict,” wrote Novaya Gazeta when it became apparent that the Assumption Monastery could be the vehicle for it. On the eve of the Synod in Kiev on December 15, 2018, the Russian Orthodox Church warned in a message to church and political decision-makers, including the Pope and the UN Secretary General, of a religious war and called self-employment an "unprecedented violation of human rights" .

In Novaya Gazeta, Alexander Soldatov described the situation as a strange mixture of complete isolation and simultaneous appeal to liberalism.

Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Autonomous and self-governing churches

The Patriarchate of Moscow also includes Orthodox churches in several countries, which are largely independent from an organizational point of view.

Autonomous Churches

Self-governing churches

Dioceses abroad

Outside Russia, there are eparchies of the Patriarchate of Moscow in 21 states in Europe and North and South America. There are also the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, which has belonged to the Patriarchate of Moscow since 2007.


Berlin Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church

The Berlin Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church has its seat in Berlin . It is headed by the administrator Tikhon (Zaitsev) Bishop of Podolsk . It was formed in 1992 from the three dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate that previously existed in Germany. In total there are over 70 active Russian Orthodox communities in Germany.

The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is recognized in Germany as a public corporation .

Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

The Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Orthodox Bishop of Berlin and Germany belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad . It is based in Munich. It also includes a vicar bishop based in Stuttgart.


The eparchy for Vienna and Austria has its seat in Vienna. The focus is the local cathedral , the largest Russian Orthodox church in Central Europe. The Russian Orthodox Church is a " state-recognized religious community ".

Patriarchate of Moscow in Russia

The Patriarchate of Moscow comprises a total of 164 local bodies called eparchies in the Russian Federation.

Faiths outside the Moscow Patriarchate

See also

  • Spas - Church-affiliated religious TV broadcaster


Sources and own representations

  • Peter Hauptmann, Gerd Sticker: The Orthodox Church in Russia. Documents of their history (860–1980) . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1988, ISBN 3-525-56179-2 .
  • Archpriest Mikhail Pomazansky: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology . Ed. Monastery of St. Job von Pocaev, Munich, ISBN 3-926165-96-0 .
  • Metropolitan Pitirim of Volokolamsk and Jurjev (ed.): The Russian Orthodox Church . De Gruyter - Evangelisches Verlagswerk GmbH, Berlin - New York 1988. (= The Churches of the World, Vol. 19).
  • Monastery of St. Job von Pocaev, Munich (ed.): The Russian Orthodox Church abroad with special consideration of the German diocese .
  • Monastery of St. Job von Pocaev, Munich (ed.): Responsibility in the Diaspora. The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad .

Web links


Municipalities and institutions in Germany

Special topics

Individual evidence

  1. Andrea Hapke, Evelyn Scheer: Moscow and the Golden Ring: Old Russian cities on Moskva, Oka and Volga. P. 18
  2. Wolfgang Heller: The Russian Orthodox Church 1917–1941 . In: Christoph Gassenschmidt, Ralph Tuchtenhagen (Ed.): Politics and Religion in the Soviet Union, 1917–1941 . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-447-04440-3 , pp. 13-46.
  3. ^ Walter Laqueur : Putinism: Where is Russia drifting? , Verlag Ullstein, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-549-07461-9 , introduction.
  4. ^ A b c Walter Laqueur : Putinism: Where is Russia drifting? , Verlag Ullstein, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-549-07461-9 , section: The cornerstones of the new "Russian idea" - The Russian Orthodox Church.
  5. ^ Gernot Silk, History of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad from its Foundation to the Present, Wiesbaden 1983; G. Silk, Monasteries and Convents of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Munich 1990.
  6. Messenger of the German Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad, 1997–1998 and 2000.
  7. Dmitry Konstantinow, The Church in the Soviet Union after the War, Munich 1973; Thousand Years of the Church in Russia, Evangelical Academy Tutzing 1987; Ieromonach Damaskin (Orlovskij), Mučeniki, ispovedniki i podvižniki blagočestija Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Cerkvi XX stoletija, Vol. 3, Introduction, pp. 6–36, Tver 1999.
  8. Messenger of the German Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad, 2002–2007.
  9. State Council of the Russian Orthodox Church 2009. In:, Cathedral of Sts. Neo-martyrs and confessors of Russia and St. Nicholas. 2009, retrieved on August 28, 2018 : “the Council of 1990 that elected the Most Holy Patriarch Alexy II”
  10. n-tv: Kirill is the new patriarch
  11. Русская церковь объединяет свыше 150 млн. верующих в более чем 60 странах - митрополит Иларион March 2, 2011
  12. Patriarch Cyril: Russian Orthodox Church: Renaissance of community life , Idea , report of 13 January 2017th
  13. ^ A b Michael Brinkschröder: Human rights or traditional values. Homosexuality and the Russian Orthodox Church . In: Workshop gay theology 16 - Human rights and power. 2013. ISSN  1430-7170 , pp. 54-87.
  14. The Basics of the Doctrine of the Russian Orthodox Church on Dignity, Freedom and Human Rights ( English )
  15. Social doctrine of the Russian Orthodox Church ( English )
  16. The Russian Declaration of Human Rights ( Memento of September 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) ( German translation )
  17. ^ Human Rights and Moral Responsibility. Paper read by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the X World Russian People's Council
  18. ^ Liberi sine fano .
  19. ^ Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church , Pewforum, February 10, 2014
  20. a b Advance Departments "Church Building" , Novaya, Gazeta, May 15, 2019
  21. Interfax : Russian Orthodox Church will continue crafting “symphony” with state - priest (updated)
  22. Boris Reitschuster : Vladimir the Great: The Orthodox Church in Russia wants to reinstate the monarchy , July 4, 2017
  23. ^ Walter Laqueur : Putinism: Where is Russia drifting? , Verlag Ullstein, 2015 ISBN 9783843711005 ; "In the meantime, the Russian Orthodox Church is primarily fulfilling a political function by supporting the government, particularly in the area of ​​anti-Western propaganda."
  24. See
  25. See
  26. Press release of the Pro Oriente Foundation : Moscow Patriarchate records an increase in the number of candidates for the priesthood , June 26, 2017.
  27. Sueddeutsche: Russia returns property to the church
  28. Dear Neighbors, Please Don't Start a Revolution , The Russian Reader, July 11, 2015
  29. ^ The Road to the Square , Novaya Gazeta, May 18, 2019; "The authorities have nothing to offer the people, except Rosgvardii"
  30. ^ Andreas Kappeler: Brief history of the Ukraine. 4th, revised and updated edition. CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-67019-0 , page 225.
  31. ^ Andreas Kappeler: Brief history of the Ukraine. 4th, revised and updated edition. CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-67019-0 , page 249.
  32. a b Orthodoxy: Moscow freezes relations with Constantinople. In: Pro Oriente. September 15, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018 .
  33. a b c d Liliya Berezhnaya: Politicization of Religion in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. In: WWU Münster (Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics”). September 11, 2018, accessed September 25, 2018 .
  34. ^ Putin Wants God (or at Least the Church) on His Side . In: Foreign Policy , September 10, 2018.
  35. a b c Ungodly espionage: Russian hackers targeted Orthodox clergy . In: Associated Press , August 27, 2018.
  36. a b Ukraine Could Beat Putin in Church Battle . In: Bloomberg , September 3, 2018.
  37. a b The mighty Moscow Patriarchate will shrink . In: Zeit Online , September 21, 2018.
  38. a b Ukrainian Orthodoxy: The dispute between Constantinople and Moscow comes to a head. On, September 8, 2018.
  39. Ukraine-Russia - two churches crossed. On, September 22, 2018.
  40. a b The dispute in the Orthodox Church is escalating. In: NZZ , September 21, 2018, page 4; Quote: "The Russian Orthodox Church known for its proximity to the Kremlin [...]"
  41. Remembering it is forbidden! In: Novaya Gazeta , September 15, 2018.
  42. News 07:00, Radio SRF 1 , October 11, 2018.
  43. Nachrichten 06:00 am, Radio SRF 1, October 11, 2018. ( Memento from October 12, 2018 in the Internet Archive )
  44. The Russian Church breaks with Constantinople. In: Die Welt , October 15, 2018.
  45. ^ Russian Orthodox Church cuts ties with Constantinople. In: The Guardian , October 15, 2018.
  46. ^ Andrei Subov : We are bombing Voronezh again. In: Novaya Gazeta , October 17, 2018 (“Bombs on Voronezh” is a Russian phrase for an action that harms itself ).
  47. The Moscow Patriarchate breaks with Constantinople. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , October 17, 2018, page 6, title of the print edition; Quote: "With immediate effect, Russian Orthodox believers are no longer allowed to attend church services, receive the sacraments and pray in churches and monasteries that are under Constantinople."
  48. ^ The first casualties on the Moscow Constantinople Front. In: Novaya Gazeta , October 22, 2018. From (Russian), accessed December 7, 2019.
  49. The Patriarch of Constantinople gave advice to the Russian Orthodox Church. Подробнее на РБК. From (Russian), November 5, 2018, accessed December 7, 2019.
  50. Memorial for offended believers. In: Novaya Gazeta , November 26, 2018.
  51. It's autocephaly! In: Novaya Gazeta , December 15, 2018; To quote Navalny: “Putin's political failure”.
  52. ^ "Satan's Potion" and the values ​​of the patriarch's liberalism. In: Novaya Gazeta , January 8, 2019; "The head of the Russian Orthodox Church symbolically recognized his church as being isolated from the rest of" world orthodoxy "."
  53. Russian Orthodox communities in Germany ( Memento from March 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive )