Moscow, November 26, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church will send a priest to South Korea for the Russian-speaking congregation for Christmas this year due to the rupture with Constantinople Patriarchate, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion said in an interview with the Christian portal Jesus.
"Korea is a country where Russian Spiritual Mission, founded in 19th century acted until the 1950s. But then it was abolished, and its property was transferred to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Until recently, our believers were spiritually nourished in the churches of this Patriarchate, but now it has become impossible. So we'll send the priest there by next Christmas, and with the time necessary to create a full-fledged parish. Local believers who have submitted me a petition with many signatures are asking for this fervently," the metropolitan said.
He called a paradoxical the fact that in North Korea where atheism is the official ideology there is a full-fledged parish of the Moscow Patriarchate with its church, but there is neither church nor a parish in South Korea.
"We will correct this situation," the hierarch of Russian Church promised.
On October 11, the Constantinople Patriarchate's Synod in Istanbul abolished its 1686 decree handing the Kiev Metropolitanate over to Moscow, announced the creation of a mission in Kiev, and rehabilitated the leaders of self-proclaimed Orthodox churches in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchate's Synod responded by severing ties with Constantinople.
As reported in November, as a result of these events, the Russian Church sent a priest to Istanbul for the Russian-speaking believers living in this city.