Metropolitan Leonid of Klin: The Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa is currently present in 18 African countries - Exarchate of Africa
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Metropolitan Leonid of Klin: The Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa is currently present in 18 African countries

“At the moment, the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa is actively present in 18 African countries. It has become possible just in a year since the Exarchate was established by the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, said in an interview to TASS correspondent on 19th December 2022.

“On 18th December, first ordinations were performed at the Holy Resurrection Church in Rabat. Sergy Voyemawa from the Central African Republic was ordained deacon. Not long ago, he had completed a course of theology in Moscow. In the CAR, he has a heavy workload, for he is the head of the school we are helping to finish building, and the leader of three large communities,” the hierarch said.

“That same Sunday we ordained Deacon Herman Edyangu as presbyter. He is from Uganda – the first country I visited in my capacity as the Patriarchal Exarch of Africa,” Metropolitan Leonid added.

“When it comes to embracing Orthodox faith, Uganda shows dynamic development. Very good contacts were established between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. I conveyed a letter from His Holiness the Patriarch to the President of Uganda, and we had a rather constructive dialogue,” the Exarch continued.

“In Uganda, large areas – 6,5 hectares – are being allocated for the construction of a religious and administrative centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. Besides, also based on the agreement with President Museveni, we will construct a building for children’s school group, as well as a school, a hospital and several other social and humanitarian facilities,” the archpastor said.

“We have very good prospects in Uganda, and, God willing, Uganda may become the “spiritual hub” of the Russian Orthodox Church in East Africa,” the hierarch pointed out.

“We are moving forward at a rapid pace. Just in a year’s time we have gained foothold in 18 African countries. To tell the truth, as the head of the Exarchate I expected us to move with a slower speed. Many local people are joining us, coming up with initiatives even in the places where there have never been any churches. The way things are going, in three to five years’ time we will be able to cover practically the entire continent of Africa and ensure fully-fledged presence of the Russian Orthodox Church there,” Metropolitan Leonid said in conclusion.

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