Krasnoyarsk Diocese Yesterday and Today
Krasnoyarsk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was established by the Greatest Decree of the Holy Synod on 25 May 1861. The first archbishop of Krasnoyarsk diocese (at that time Yeniseisk diocese) was Reverend Nikodim. He contributed significantly to spiritual and cultural development of the diocese as well as of the Yeniseisk region. Though Russian people began to build orthodox churches and monasteries on the banks of the Yenisei river long before the diocese had been established. During the period of Siberia's development locally worshipped Saint Martyr Vasiliy Mangazeya and righteous Daniil of Achinsk became famous on the Siberian land.
The Revolution of 1917 and the Soviet Union's establishment did a lot of harm to the Church. Many people suffered from persecutions and met their martyr death on the Yeniseisk land. St Amphilokhy (Skvortzov) and other bishops, priests, monks and laymen were among them.
By 1940 there were no churches functioning in the diocese. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) relations between church and government improved. St Nicolas church at Nikolaevskoye cemetery was the first church opened in Krasnoyarsk. In that church, being archbishop since 1943 Saint Luke (Voino-Yasenetskiy) administered his first services. Under Khrushchev's rule most of the churches were closed, thus by the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia there were only 10 churches left.
After 70 years of atheism, the diocese's revival began. In summer 1990 His Eminence Anthony (Cheremisov) was elected its archbishop. At that time, 19 parishes of the Kemerovo region and 4 parishes of the Republic Khakasiya belonged to the Krasnoyarsk diocese. In 1991 there were 68 churches functioning instead of 32 (23 vacant and 45 served by other parishes’ clergymen).
Archbishop Anthony often visited Kemerovo where he discussed construction of the new Znamensky cathedral (cathedral the Holy Sign) after he had consecrated the church of St. Martyr George the Victorious. By the end of 1992, the Kemerovo region included more than 50 parishes and Kolchugino women monastery. On June the 11th, 1993 Kemerovo diocese was made independent by the decision of His Holiness Patriarch and the Holy Synod. On 18 July 1995 Khakasiya diocese became independent due to its parishes’ increase in number.
By the decision of the Holy Synod on 30th May, 2001 (journal №44), Yeniseisk diocese was established and separated from Krasnoyarsk diocese.
Nowadays there are more than 200 churches, houses of worship, house churches and chapels, including 1 men and 2 women monasteries (in Krasnoyarsk and Kochergino, Kuraginskiy district) functioning in the diocese. It's main cathedral is the Krasnoyarsk Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection (Pokrovsky cathedral).
Diocese's territory is divided into 4 deaneries (Krasnoyarsk, Kansk, Achinsk and Minusinsk).
His Eminence Archbishop Anthony has been governing Krasnoyarsk diocese since 20 July 1990. Activities made by the Krasnoyarsk diocesan administration are superintended by its secretary archimandrite Nectary (Seleznyov). Every year clergymen discuss diocesan life's vital problems at diocesan meetings.
Some types of activities are supervised by clerics (diocesan departments for catechism and religious education, for missionary, for communication with the young people, for social services, for church charity, for relations with armed forces etc.). There are Sunday schools for adults and children attached to most of the churches. There are orthodox gymnasiums opened in Krasnoyarsk. There are also extra-mural theological and pastoral courses for diocesan clerics.
As there is no seminary in the territory, clergymen study in Tomsk and Tobolsk theological seminaries and the Moscow Theological Institute. There are short-term choir-master courses in functioning Krasnoyarsk. With Archbishop’s blessing, priests provide spiritual guidance for students of cadet schools and Mariinsk gymnasiums opened by Alexander Lebed, former Krasnoyarsk Territory's governor. Many Krasnoyarsk and deaneries’ churches have choirs (Archbishop Choir's chanter — Dimitriy Vasyanovich).
The diocesan staff is engaged in spiritual, educational, cultural and informational activities. Every year Christmas educational readings are organized. The Children and Youth Choir “Sophia” of the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral became internationally recognized (choir-master – Yekaterina Plekhanova). Krasnoyarsk diocesan press service, "Pravoslavnoye Slovo Sibiri" (“Orthodox Word of Siberia”) newspaper's editorial staff and diocesan department for information, analytics and publishing are engaged in spiritual and educational activities.
Krasnoyarsk diocesan press service