« On the Relationship of the Russian Orthodox Church to Current Events »

In connection with the current crisis in diplomatic relations between the UK and the Russian Federation, we have received many requests for comment. In order to clarify certain evident misunderstandings, we wish to state the following:
1. The Russian Orthodox Church is not a State Church, but is completely independent of the various States in which she exercises her ministry. Our bishops are not nominated by the Prime Minister or any other politician, but by the other bishops.
2. Just as you do not have to be Roman in order to be Roman Catholic, so you do not have to be Russian in order to be Russian Orthodox and to belong to a Church which includes over 70 nationalities worldwide! Here in Britain both our clergy and our parishioners are diverse with respect to their ethnic and national origins. Many people who came from the territories of the former Soviet Union have settled here, married local people and acquired British citizenship.
3. As regards the present political crisis, we shall continue to pray ardently for Her Majesty the Queen, the civil authorities and the armed forces, just as we have done over the last 300 years of our presence here.
4. Likewise we pray for the recovery of those injured in the evil and criminal attack in Salisbury, and for the peace of the whole world.
Media Service of the Diocese of Sourozh
Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland
16 March 2018