The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad – the Russian True Orthodox Church abroad – is an ecclesiastical jurisdiction of about eighty parishes and nearly seventy clergy. They are in various countries around the world, including Ukraine, North America, and Australia.
Following the union of ROCOR under Metropolitan Laurus with the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Agafangel left the ROCOR and established his own synod. Despite numerous attempts by the Synod of Bishops to start dialogue, Bishop Agafangel has not yielded.
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The mission of ROCOR is to preserve and propagate the Orthodox faith, and spiritual-pastoral care, as well as to plant Orthodoxy in new places. Moreover, the church’s mission is to help those who are in need.
The ROCOR has a large number of parishes in the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe. It also has a strong presence in other countries, particularly in Asia and Africa.
Bishop Agafangel has ordained many priests, including some of the most prominent of the current generation of Orthodox clergy in America. He has also commissioned many clergy from different parts of the world to serve in his church, especially in Canada and the United States.
As a result, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR) has become an umbrella organization for a number of different jurisdictions and entities that are not in communion with Moscow. As a result, it has been subject to schism. The schisms stem from various factors, including:
Metropolitan Agafangel is the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. He serves as the Head of the ROCA Synod of Bishops and also presides over the Holy Dormition Patriarch Monastery in Chisinau, Moldova.
He is the Vicar of His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine, as well as a member of the ROCOR Synod.
His mission is to lead the diocese and serve as the spiritual father for the entire community. In this capacity he also conducts numerous charitable and social activities.
In this regard he has a special relationship with the UOC, as well as the Party of Regions.
He is a very vocal proponent of Patriarch Kirill’s stance on the issue of healing, in particular, his rejection of the “canonical” territorial claims of the Catholic Church. His words are practically verbatim echoes of his boss’s rhetoric.
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
The mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is to spread the Gospel to the peoples of all nations. This is a task that has been carried out by Christians for 2000 years, as Christ commanded His disciples to “make disciples of all nations.”
The Russian Orthodox Church abroad seeks to serve this mission in many ways. One of its key missions is to provide a safe place for those who are searching for Orthodoxy in the Diaspora, especially those in countries that are very remote from Russia.
The Church also works to provide the local population with resources that will help them to learn more about Orthodoxy. It publishes practical aids on mission among non-Christians, and enables churches to celebrate divine services in vernacular languages. The Church also helps to train clergy and laity from the local community who can assist with the Church’s external mission. It participates in interreligious dialogue and is involved in efforts to bring about peaceful coexistence, human rights, and other social issues.
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church
The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church has been a zealous missionary church, spreading the message of our Orthodox faith through its parishes around the world. This work has helped to establish the Orthodox faith among various tribes and peoples, and has also led many individuals to embrace the Orthodox Faith.
The Church has participated in interreligious dialogue as well, indicating her position on socially significant issues such as moral norms and values, peaceful coexistence, respect for human dignity and the environment, and human rights. Moreover, the Church has taken part in the ecumenical movement, establishing relationships with other local churches.
In 2007 the bishops of ROCOR formally unioned with the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church was founded under Metropolitan Agafangel. He was consecrated to the episcopacy by the late Metropolitan Valentine and was later ordained as head of the Temporary Higher Church Administration, which became the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.