Alexy II celebrates the 18th anniversary of his patriarchal ministry

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia celebrates the 18th anniversary of his enthronement (official start of patriarchal ministry). In the morning, Alexy II will celebrate traditional Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church from various dioceses of Russia and the CIS-countries are to participate in the liturgy and festival events.

It was 18 years ago on June 10, 1990, that the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church elected Metropolitan Alexy (Ridiger) of Leningrad and Novgorod to the patriarchal throne. The newly-elected primate, the 15th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, was enthroned the same day in the Patriarchal Epiphany Cathedral in Yelokhovo.

Alexy II was entrusted to lead the Church revival in the post-Communist Russia. For his years in the office the Church received an opportunity to renew its ministry in hospitals, senior centers, in army and prisons. New dioceses were set up, thousands of churches were built and over hundred theological educational establishments were open. Only in Moscow the number of Orthodox churches has increased ten times.