Exarch for Africa: Another eight parishes in Nigeria moves to the ROC
All eight parishes of Delta state in Nigeria, along with their pastor, have joined the Russian Orthodox Church.
Metropolitan Leonid, Patriarchal Exarch for Africa of the Russian Orthodox Church, wrote on his Telegram channel that on February 21, 2022, a missionary group led by Priest Georgy Maximov was working in the Nigerian state of Delta.
“The result is that all 8 parishes of the Delta state, together with the priest who provides spiritual guidance for them, solemnly joined the Russian Orthodox Church. It was the second largest deanery of the Nigerian Metropolis of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church,” said the Exarch for Africa.
The decision of the believers was not spontaneous; they were prepared by Father Matthew Emamezi, one of the first preachers of Orthodoxy in the state. He was also one of the first Nigerian priests to file a petition with the Russian Orthodox Church 2 years ago.
“Unfortunately, the priest did not live to see the establishment of the African Exarchate. But his flock was able to fulfill his dream. So the first meeting began with a memorial service at the grave of Fr. Matthew,” wrote Metropolitan Leonid.
At the meeting, the parishioners were addressed by the local priest, as well as Priest Georgy Maksimov. The Orthodox of Delta state heartily thanked the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church for the decision to come to Africa and to Nigeria in particular.
Wishing to remain in the canonical Church, the local community moved from the schism to the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 2005. “Naturally, the priests and believers were not happy when they learned that in 2019 the Alexandrian Church itself entered into communion with the schism. So their decision today is a consistent development of the movement they started in 2005,” concluded the Exarch for Africa.
As the UOJ reported, in Nigeria, 7 out of 16 clerics transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church from the Church of Alexandria.