Monday, June 6, 2011

Russian Orthodox Church Nears Completion in UAE

Construction on the first Russian Orthodox parish in the Arabian Peninsula, the Church of St. Philip in Sharjah, UAE, is nearing completion. When completed the parish compound will house an educational and cultural center in addition to the church, which has the distinction of being the only church on the Arabian Peninsula with crosses on its domes. The church's cornerstone was laid by Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev) of Moscow when he was still serving as Metropolitan of Smolensk. More here and (in Russian) here.

It is unclear from what I've read whether St. Philip's is functioning as a regular parish of the Russian Orthodox Church or as a representation to the Antiochian Orthodox Church. I believe that Arabia is understood to fall under the latter's jurisdiction, but perhaps that is not the case?

Update (7/6/2011): The English-language release of the Moscow Patriarchate on the construction states that St. Philip's functions as a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, whose canonical territory the Arabian Peninsula is, with clergy being provided by the Russian Orthodox Church.

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