Moscow, December 26, Interfax - If the Russian Orthodox Church continues to develop with the current rates, the number of its churches can reach 80,000 in 25-30 years thus reaching pre-revolutionary number.
"Now the number of churches is reaching 40,000. At such speed in 30 years we will have 70,000 or 80,000. The number of monasteries exceeds 900, there were 1,500 of them before revolution, so we have overcome the middle line," the Church and the World program on Rossiya-24 television channel.
The hierarch stressed that churches and monasteries are built "not to demonstrate the figures, not to create impressive statistics, but because people need it."
Metropolitan Hilarion reported that from 1988 the Russian Orthodox Church have opened three churches a day and such unprecedented scales witness to high demand of population on visiting them.
"For not full 30 years, we have built 30,000 churches, it means that during this period we have been building or restoring from ruins 1,000 churches a year or three churches a day. This statistics refers to the whole Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, other republics of the Middle Asia, the Baltic states and far abroad," the Metropolitan Hilarion said.
According to him, the Moscow Patriarchate, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has about 900 churches in 60 countries.