In 2020 the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry of the Russian Orthodox Church sent over 18.5 million rubles to help the poor in 55 dioceses in Russia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and East Timor.
“This year there has been an upsurge in social ministry. Many people wished to do good deeds and to help others,” said Bishop Panteleimon, Head of the department, on Wednesday, reports Interfax-Religion.
Since June, over 42 thousand people in need have received assistance. In addition, with the support of the Synodal Department for Charity, 317,000 needy people received more than 990 tons of food from the Rus Food Foundation through the dioceses.
In Moscow alone, a special group of trained priests made 1,096 visits to patients with coronavirus from April 2 to December 29. During the pandemic, this special group of priests visited 57 hospitals in the Moscow region.
Due to the pandemic, the number of calls for help from homeless people has increased significantly. “If earlier no more than 100 people came to our “Salvation Shelter” a day (a frame tent set up by the Russian Orthodox Church in the center of Moscow, where the homeless can warm up and eat – Pravmir), this year 300 homeless people a day apply for help,” the bishop said.
In 2020, church social services, priests and hierarchs helped doctors and hospitals in Russia and other countries. According to Bishop Panteleimon, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, medicines and equipment were transferred to the dioceses in Khanty-Mansiysk, Belgorod, Yaroslavl, Borovichi, Okulovka, Nizhyn, Kiev, Minsk and other cities. Orthodox volunteers provided ambulance teams with meals in Odessa and Simferopol, drove doctors to patients’ homes from the polyclinic in Nizhny Tagil.