26 March 2012, 18:01
Russian Armed Forces to have more than 200 military clerics
Moscow, March 26, Interfax - The formation of clergy in the Russian Armed Forces is not as quick as planned, but the goal will be achieved eventually, head of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Department for Personnel Sergey Chvarkov told the Ekho Moskvy radio on Saturday.
"Far from all clerics offered to us by the Church meet our requirements," he said.
At the same time, the task of forming clergy in the Russian Armed Forces set by the Supreme Commander is being fulfilled. "This is a very delicate and important task, and there must be no rush here," Chvarkov said.
There are a number of requirements to prospective military clerics: they must have served in the army and be in good health, he said.
Twenty-one clerics have been appointed to the Armed Forces from the Russian Orthodox Church and Muslim faith. In all, the Russian Armed Forces will have 242 military clerics.
The decision to have clergy in the Armed Forces meets servicemen's needs, he said. Sixty-two percent of servicemen defined themselves as believers in 2010, the number of believers grew to 79% in 2011.
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