A recent report in ‘The Tablet’ says that Russia’s Orthodox Church has opened 30,000 churches over the last 30 years, although it is expected to take until 2050 to return to what it was before the 1917 revolution.
According to Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the Moscow Patriarchate’s external relations director “Houses of worship aren’t built as architectural or artistic monuments – they’re there for the people,” He added that they do not “build churches to obtain impressive statistics, but because people want them. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the construction or renovation of most churches is financed by the faithful – both small people and big entrepreneurs.”
Metropolitan Hilarion said that the Orthodox Church has dedicated three churches a day since 1988, and now has 40,000, and he added that it would take until 2050 to attain the 80,000 churches held before the Bolshevik Revolution, which took place 100 years ago.
In addition, Hilarion commented that the Russian Orthodox Church now has 940 monasteries, compared to the 1500 that existed prior to the accession of the Soviets to power.