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RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH HAS 26,590 PARISHES: PATRIARCH
MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church currently has 26,590 parishes, Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, announced to a Bishops' Council that opened today.
Russia accounts for 12,638 of the total, Ukraine 10,377, Belarus 1,319, Moldova 1,520, the other post-Soviet countries a lump 461, and countries outside the post-Soviet area 275.
The Church possesses 652 monastic abodes. Of this, Russia has 189 monasteries and 205 convents, Ukraine 79 and 76, respectively, Belarus 7 and 18, and Moldova 25 and 24.
There are 9,468 Sunday schools: 4,696 in Russia, 3,044 in Ukraine, 447 in Belarus, 955 in Moldova, and a lump 326 in other countries.
The Church has 2,253 charitable centres-orphanages, seniors' homes, and canteens-1,820 in Russia, 339 in Ukraine, 34 in Belarus, 25 in Moldova, and a total 35 in other countries.
There are 540 diocesan press outlets in Russia, 107 in Ukraine, 26 in Belarus, 18 in Moldova, and 34 elsewhere.
Russia possesses 287 religious youth centres, Ukraine 94, Belarus 27, Moldova three, and other countries a total 15.
"On the whole, these figures reveal a general trend for progress in all aspects of diocesan and parochial life. Don't forget, however, that numerical increase not always indicates efficiency," pointed out the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
He has served 680 liturgies since the latest Bishops' Council in August 2000, added Alexis II.