Moldovan Orthodox Church

Moldovan Orthodox Church

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The Moldovan Orthodox Church (canonical name: Metropolis of Chișinău and all Moldova) is an autonomous church under the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, whose canonic territory covers the Republic of Moldova.

Together with the Metropolis of Bessarabia
Metropolis of Bessarabia
The Metropolis of Bessarabia is an autonomous Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan bishopric of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Metropolis of Bessarabia was created in 1923 and organized in 1925, when the Archbishopric of Chișinău was raised to the rank of metropolis...

 (an autonomous church under the Romanian Orthodox Church
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

), it is one of the two major churches of Moldova
Moldova
Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

. At the 2005 census, 3,158,015 people or 95.5% of those declaring a religion claimed to be Eastern Orthodox. The Moldovan Orthodox Church has also strained relations with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia , also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, or ROCOR) is a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church....

 (ROCOR), which only has a few followers in the country.

In October 1992 the Russian Orthodox Church granted autonomy to the Metropolitan Church of Chișinău and all Moldova. It holds the majority of the Eastern Orthodox population, parishes, monasteries, and churches in Moldova.

The church has four eparchies (bishoprics): Chișinău, Tiraspol and Dubăsari, Edineț and Briceni, Cahul and Comrat. Church languages are Romanian and Slavonic. Church music is Byzantine and Russian. The Moldovan Orthodox Church has 1,080 parishes, 30 monasteries, one academy and two seminaries.

The head of the Moldovan Orthodox Church is Metropolitan Vladimir, who is a permanent member of the Holy Synod
Holy Synod
In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, the patriarch or head bishop is elected by a group of bishops called the Holy Synod...

 of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Relation with the Metropolis of Bessarabia


In the lead up to the independence of Moldova, the Romanian society and by the Romanian Orthodox Church encouraged reunification with Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 rather than independence. The Romanian Orthodox Church revived the Metropolis of Bessarabia
Metropolis of Bessarabia
The Metropolis of Bessarabia is an autonomous Eastern Orthodox Metropolitan bishopric of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Metropolis of Bessarabia was created in 1923 and organized in 1925, when the Archbishopric of Chișinău was raised to the rank of metropolis...

, granted it autonomous status and gave it authority over (part) of the Republic of Moldova and other areas. The movement was started in 1992 by the bishop of Bălți, Petru Păduraru
Petru Păduraru
Petru Păduraru is a Bessarabian priest and the current Metropolitan of Bessarabia.- Biography :Petru Păduraru was born on October 24, 1946 in Țiganca, Cahul District....

. It was also supported by political parties supporting reunification of Moldova and Romania. It considers itself to be the heir of the Metropolis of Bessarabia which existed in 1918-1940 during the period of Greater Romania.

The Metropolis of Bessarabia had about 84 parishes in Moldova at the moment of its new recognition.

See also

  • History of the Orthodox Church in Moldova
    History of the Orthodox Church in Moldova
    -Middle ages:The first attested Christian organization the territory of the later Principality of Moldavia was the Catholic Diocese of Cumania in the southern part of the region, dating from 1227, and is connected with Hungarian attempts to control the region. However, as early as 1234, Orthodox...

  • Archbishop of Chişinău
    Archbishop of Chisinau
    The archbishop of Chișinău was the head of the Orthodox Church in Bessarabia after its annexation by the Russian Empire.* Gavril Bănulescu-Bodoni * Dimitrie Sulima * Irinarkh Popov * Antonie Shokotov...