“According to the survived statistics, there were almost 79,000 Orthodox churches in the Russian Empire. Majority of them were destroyed or eliminated in the Soviet times, some of them were left unattended and gradually ruined. In the late 1980s we had 7,000 of working churches from that 79,000,” he said on air The Church and the World program on Rossiya 24 TV channel.
The metropolitan says that today the Russian Orthodox Church has approximately half of churches it used to have before the revolution.
“Unfortunately, many churches are still in ruins. Sometimes when you travel along the Moscow Region you see the churches not touched by restorers. There are unrestored churches even in Moscow,” the hierarch said.