Number of permanent parishioners in Russia may reach 40 million people in next 20 years - Patriarch

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has cited statistical data saying that number of permanent parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia is probable to grow up to 40 million people in coming 20 years. "Some statistical forecasts say that if things will go on as they do now our country will have over 40 million permanent parishioners, enchurched people in coming twenty years," the Patriarch said on Tuesday at a press conference in Moscow, though urging not to focus on figures but to keep working.

Patriarch Kirill noted that flock of the Russian Orthodox Church has recently become younger. When he served as a hipodeacon (in 1960s - IF), he saw four-five young people among church parishioners on a festival day, but today the situation has dramatically changed.

"When I celebrate divine services, especially on festival days, Easter night, I am impressed as I see not elderly people, not middle-aged people, but I see people in proportions that I see in the streets," the Patriarch shared his impressions.

Among other statistical data, the Patriarch voiced information referring to the level of education in Orthodox families: thus number of children with higher education in Orthodox families is five percent higher than in other families.

Source: Interfax religion