A sketch of the church life of the Russian Diaspora in Morocco in 1970s

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №4

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080000437-7

The author analyzes the active social life and the parochial problems of the Russian diaspora in Morocco in the 1970s basing on a detailed report of the rector of the Russian Orthodox parish Rabat, the archpriest Nikolai Zakharov (served in Rabat in 1972–1980) and on the other documentary evidence of those years as well. On the basis of the given document, and in comparison with the recent study of the Russian diaspora in Morocco by Dr. Nikolai Sukhov, the author presents a vivid picture of the uneasy relations of our compatriots in this country, as well as issues of relations between the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate and the parallel “foreign” Orthodox hierarchies and parishioners of these communities. Attention is paid to extensive contacts with local Catholics, as well as the inclusion in the orbit of church ministry and social activities of the Orthodox parish in Rabat representatives of pre-Chalcedonian churches (in particular, Coptic and Abyssinian). Many historical materials testify to the unprecedented heyday in the 1970s of the twentieth century ecumenical activities throughout the world, which apparently became the general line in the ministry of the rector of the capital's Orthodox church in Morocco. Information is also given about the 1977 visit to Morocco of the ruling bishop and chairman of the Commission of the Holy Synod of the ROC on issues of Christian unity and inter-Church relations Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov). Specific examples show the high level of activity of Catholic organizations and hierarchs in the spread of ecumenism, including through the Rabat’s Orthodox parish head. Judging by the presenting publications of that time in the official edition “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate”, ecumenical activity was one of the central in the line of the leadership of the Church, and the life of the Moroccan Russian community was also known for this side.

Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, Russian communities, diaspora, ecumenism, Morocco

Pages: С. 77–87

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