(Toledo Blade) Standing before hundreds of Russian Orthodox clergy from Russia and the United States at an ornate Moscow cathedral, Alexii II, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, famously offered up his thanks:
That was last year, at a service marking the reunification of the Russia-based Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the U.S.-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). ROC is by far the world’s largest orthodox church, with estimated membership of 70 million to 80 million.
Keen on the idea of having billions of dollars worth of real estate returned to the church by the state, the ROC’s Moscow Patriarchate – the seat of the patriarch – has begun acting as an ideological arm of the Kremlin to consolidate the Kremlin’s hold of Russia and aid its quest to advance nationalism as the state’s new ideology.
The split between the ROC and the ROCOR occurred soon after the Russian church in 1927 accepted Soviet authority over itself. Attempting to reunite the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) – an independent Orthodox church started in the late 1700s by Russian Orthodox monks arriving in Alaska – with its Russian roots is not a subject of an active public discussion. (Click for rest of article)