Moscow. Population: 10,531,100.
[PDS] FEWER THAN ONE PERCENT OF MOSCOW RESIDENTS ATTEND CHRISTMAS SERVICES
Originally posted at Portal-credo.ru, 7 January 2010
According to official data, attendance at Christmas services in Moscow, as in the past, did not exceed 1 percent of the number of residents of the city. Christmas services in Moscow’s cathedrals, houses of worship, and churches in the twenty-four hour period from the morning of 6 January to morning of 7 January were attended by more than 135,000 persons. This was reported by Interfax, citing a source in the law enforcement agencies of the capital. Last year, it was reported that 108,000 believers attended Christmas night liturgies, although this year the statistical data refer to an entire 24-hour period.
The agency’s source noted that on Christmas night the church of Christ the Savior was attended by approximately 6,000 persons. Among them was also Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who arrived at the service along with his wife, Svetlana. Almost 5,000 persons attended the Epiphany cathedral in Elikhovo and more than 1,000 were at the St. Daniel’s monastery.
In all, more than 85,000 believers participated in the night liturgies of 2010 in Moscow, which is about 23,000 fewer than in the past. These numbers constitute less than one percent of the population of the Russian capital. On Christmas night, 5,500 police and internal military forces patrolled Moscow’s streets to maintain order.
At the end of 2009 information appeared that on the night of 6-7 January, 8,540 police officers would go out onto the capital’s streets. Also it was predicted that around 200,000 persons would attend Moscow’s churches on Christmas night. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 January 2010)