Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia

The Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia (PESEA, Russian: Патриарший экзархат в Юго-Восточной Азии) is an exarchate created by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) on 28 December 2018.

Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia
Патриарший экзархат в Юго-Восточной Азии
ClassificationEastern Orthodox Church
PrimateMetropolitan Sergius of Singapore and South-East Asia
TerritorySingapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, North and South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand
FounderHoly Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church
Origin28 December 2018
Recognitionby the Russian Orthodox Church (28 December 2018), as an exarchate

The primate of the PESEA is Metropolitan Sergius (Chashin) who holds the title of "Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East Asia".[1][2]



Eastern Orthodoxy initially developed in Korea in connection with the activities of the Korean spiritual mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in the early 20th century. After the revolution of 1917, in conditions of turmoil and unprecedented dispersion of the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church in different countries of the world, the first Russian parishes appeared in Southeast Asia: in the Philippines[3] and in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), which at that time were subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Missionary activity at that time was not carried out, so the departure of Russian refugees from Southeast Asia led to the disappearance of these parishes.[4] Russian spiritual mission in South Korea in 1955 was transferred to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[5]

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and other traditionally Orthodox countries began to arrive in Southeast Asia. However, there were practically no Eastern Orthodox parishes on this area, and the Moscow Patriarchate did not have it at all.[6] Gradually the situation began to change. In 1999, hegumen Oleg (Cherepanin) founded the St. Nicholas parish in Bangkok. In 2001, hegumen Oleg was appointed head of the then established Representation of The Russian Orthodox Church in the Kingdom of Thailand, which was also responsible for Laos and Cambodia. After the registration of the Russian Orthodox Church in Thailand in 2008, it became possible to open parishes across the country.[7][8] As of 2018, there were 10, and all of them had permanent churches built. In addition, a theological college was built and opened on the island of Phuket to train people of South-East Asia who converted to Orthodoxy.[9] Three parishes in Cambodia were established, with churches were built for two of them. Since 2014, the Russian Orthodox mission in the Philippines began to develop.[10] In 2018, there were 16 parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Philippines, mainly on the island of Mindanao.[11] Two Russian Orthodox communities were created in Vietnam, one in Vũng Tàu (since 2002) and the other in Hanoi (since 2016). In Indonesia, the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate were opened in Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali.[12]

On October 21, 2016, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church appointed Bishop Sergius (Chashin) of Solnechnogorsk as the administrator for the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Southeast and East Asia.[13] He took care of parishes in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, the DPRK, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam. A separate structure was formed for Thailand: the Patriarchal Parishes in Thailand, subordinated directly to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'.[14]

Creation of the PESEAEdit

On 28 December 2018, in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's actions in Ukraine,[15] the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to create "a Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the center in Paris", as well as "a Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia [PESEA] with the center in Singapore." The "sphere of pastoral responsibility" of the PESEA is Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, the Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand.[16][17][18][19] On the same day, in an interview with Russia-24 channel,[20] Metropolitan Hilarion, spokesman of the ROC, declared the ROC "will now act as if they [Constantinople] do not exist at all because our purpose is missionary, our task is to educate, we are creating these structures for ministerial care about our flock, there can be no such deterring factors here", and that the ROC will take charge of the Eastern Orthodox faithfuls of its diaspora instead of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.[21][22]

Archbishop Sergius (Chashin), was appointed as primate of the newly created PESEA, with the title "of Singapore and Southeast Asia".[17][23][18] On 7 January 2019, during the evening service in the Church of Christ the Savior in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill elevated Archbishop Sergius (Chashin) to the rank of Metropolitan in connection with the latter's appointment as exarch of the PESEA.[24]

In August 2019, Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and Southeast Asia said that "today we speak not of the establishment of a 'parallel Church' but of the restoration of the ecclesiastical mission of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is conditioned by the need to provide pastoral care to our compatriots in all parts of the globe including Asia, as well as by the impossibility of our flock at present to partake of the Mysteries in the Church of Constantinople as it has entered into communion with schismatics and invaded the canonical bounds of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine"[25]


Since 26 February 2019, the exarchate is divided in four dioceses:[26][27][28]

On the same day, Metropolitan Sergius (Chashin) was appointed as ruling bishop of the Singapore diocese,[26][31][27][28] as well as locum tenens of the other 3 dioceses.[32][27]

On 4 April 2019 Archbishop Theophanes was appointed by the Holy Synod as primate of the diocese of Korea.[33][34]

Ruling bishopsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Diocese established for the Philippines". Philippine Mission. 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2019-03-03. 7. The supreme ecclesiastical authority in the Exarchate belongs to the Synod of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia (hereinafter referred to as the “Synod of the Exarchate”), headed by the Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia, the Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia (hereinafter “Exarch”), and consisting of diocesan bishops of the dioceses of the Exarchate.
  2. ^ "Внутреннее положение о Патриаршем экзархате Юго-Восточной Азии / Официальные документы / Патриархия.ru" [Internal Regulations of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia]. Патриархия.ru (in Russian). 26 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  3. ^ "History". Philippine Mission. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  4. ^ "Православная земля… Индонезия". (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  5. ^ "Галина Бесстремянная. "Малое стадо": Православие в Стране утренней свежести". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  6. ^ "Иеромонах Михаил (Чепель). Направления современной православной миссии в Таиланде (1999-2014 годы) / Православие.Ru". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  7. ^ "Official Website of Orthodox Christian Church in Thailand (Moscow Patriarchate)". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  8. ^ "Официальный веб-сайт Православной Церкви в Таиланде (Московский Патриархат)". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  9. ^ "В РПЦ сообщили о планах построить два новых храма в Таиланде". РИА Новости (in Russian). 5 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  10. ^ "ФИЛИППИНЫ • Большая российская энциклопедия - электронная версия". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  11. ^ "From the Philippines to Taiwan. Missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church — about service in Asia – Russia news today". 22 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  12. ^ ""Священники идут в миряне": что происходит с православной миссией в Азии". РИА Новости (in Russian). 22 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  13. ^ "Administrator of Moscow Patriarchate parishes in East and South-East Asia begins his trip to Philippines | The Russian Orthodox Church". 22 June 2018. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  14. ^ "ЖУРНАЛЫ заседания Священного Синода от 21 октября 2016 года / Официальные документы / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  15. ^ "Russian Orthodox Church Synod forms patriarch's exarchates in Europe, Asia in response to Constantinople's actions". 29 December 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  16. ^ "The Russian Orthodox Church establishes a new Exarchate of Singapore and Southeast Asia". Philippine Mission. 2018-12-28. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  17. ^ a b c "Patriarchal Exarchates established in Western Europe and South-East Asia | The Russian Orthodox Church". 28 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  18. ^ a b "ЖУРНАЛЫ заседания Священного Синода от 28 декабря 2018 года / Официальные документы / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  19. ^ "Russian Orthodox Synod decides to set up exarchates in Western Europe and Southeast Asia". TASS. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  20. ^ Россия 24, Программа "Церковь и мир" от 28 декабря 2018 года - Россия 24, retrieved 2018-12-30
  21. ^ Cazabonne, Emma (2018-12-29). ""The former Russian exarchate of Constantinople must decide about its own future"". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  22. ^ "Structures of Russian Orthodox Church to open in all localities that have Constantinople parishes". 29 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  23. ^ "The Russian Orthodox Church establishes a new Exarchate of Singapore and Southeast Asia. • Philippine Mission". Philippine Mission. 2018-12-28. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  24. ^ "В праздник Рождества Христова Святейший Патриарх Кирилл совершил великую вечерню в Храме Христа Спасителя / Новости / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). 7 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  25. ^ "ROC metropolitan denies Constantinople accusations of non-canonical actions of the Moscow Patriarchate in Southeast Asia". 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  26. ^ a b "Russian Orthodox Church to set up 4 dioceses in SE. Asia". 26 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  27. ^ a b c "Состоялось первое в 2019 году заседание Священного Синода Русской Православной Церкви / Новости / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  28. ^ a b "Diocese established for the Philippines". Philippine Mission. 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  29. ^ "Патриарший экзархат Юго-Восточной Азии / Организации / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-06-07.
  30. ^ "Diocese established for the Philippines". Retrieved 2019-06-07. 14. The Exarch is the diocesan bishop of the Singapore Diocese and heads the administration of the Exarchate on the basis of the canons, the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, the present Statute and the Charter of the Exarchate.
  31. ^ "Журналы заседания Священного Синода от 26 февраля 2019 года | Русская Православная Церковь". (in Russian). 26 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  32. ^ Furukama, Eiji; Kaneko, Natsuki (31 March 2019). "Orthodox church schism extends Putin's reach in Asia". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 4 April 2019. "Four dioceses have been formed as part of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia: the Singaporean, Korean, Thai and Filipino-Vietnamese," Vladimir Legoyda, head of the Russian church's Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations, told reporters in February.
    "It has been decided that Metropolitan Sergei of Singapore and Southeast Asia will be the governing archbishop of the Singaporean diocese, and he has also been entrusted with the temporary running of the other three," Legoyda said.
  33. ^ "Ethnic Korean bishop appointed for Russian Church's Korean Diocese". OrthoChristian.Com. 5 April 2019. Archived from the original on 17 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  34. ^ "ЖУРНАЛЫ заседания Священного Синода от 4 апреля 2019 года / Официальные документы / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). 4 April 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  35. ^ "Сергий, митрополит Сингапурский и Юго-Восточно-Азиатский (Чашин Николай Николаевич) / Персоналии / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-04-20.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit