Upon the recent death of Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia, Sergei Lavrov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry (RFM), stated, “It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of the Primate of the Church to strengthening the positions of our Fatherland in the world and enhancing the international prestige of Russia.”1 First and foremost, the signing of the 2007 Act of Canonical Communion of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) signaled “a new stage in [the Russian Foreign Ministry's] efforts to consolidate the Russian world.”2 During the reign of Alexey II, especially during the Putin administration, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) expanded its role, uniting its mission with that of the RFM...

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