Russian Synod sets up Department for Relations with Society

Moscow, March 31, Interfax – A Department for Relations between the Church and Society has been set up within the church’s administrative structure, according to a decision at a session the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on Tuesday.

“The synodal Department for Relations between the Church and Society has been set up, and Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has been appointed its head,” Vladimir Vigilyansky, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate press service, told journalists following the session.

Vsevolod A. Chaplin was born on March 31, 1968, in Moscow.

He graduated from the Moscow Theological Seminary in 1990 and Moscow Theological Academy in 1994. He is a holder of the degree of Candidate of Theology.

From 1985 he worked at the Church’s publishing department and since 1990 he has been on the staff of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR MP).

He was ordained deacon in 1991 and priest in 1992.

He directed the DECR secretariat for church-society relations. Since 2001 he is vice-chairman of the DECR.

He is a member of the Central Committees of the World Council of Churches and Conference of European Churches. He is also a member of State Duma experts committee for public associations and religious organizations and the OSCE experts committee for freedom of religion and beliefs.