Religion and churches in Moscow

Known as “the city of 40 times 40 churches” prior to 1917, Moscow is mainly represented by Orthodox Christians now. More than half of the population belong to the Orthodox Christian denomination. The head of the church is the Patriarch of Moscow whose residence is located in the Danilov Monastery. Although Christianity is on a leading position, other religions are also practiced here.

Being a large cosmopolitan city, Moscow has become home for 900 religious organizations, 40 different religious denominations and 150 social and cultural religious organizations representing the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran Churches, as well Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Yazidism, and Rodnovery.

Among the most prominent Moscow Orthodox Churches are St. Basil's Cathedral, Church of St. Catherine, the Great Martyr In-the-fields, the Dormition Cathedral, the Church of the Deposition of the Robe, the Novospassky Monastery and many, many more. The churches are friendly to both churchgoers and tourists with religious services held for them every morning and night.

The presence of the Catholic Church in Moscow dates back to the 15th century when many Catholic architects came to construct the Moscow Kremlin and its cathedrals. Today the most popular Catholic destinations include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Church of Saint Louis of France, the Catholic Church of Saint Olga.

Lutheranism is the oldest branch of Protestantism in Moscow. The Lutherans appeared in Russia with the confession itself in the 16th century. Today the Lutheran Church is represented by St. Peter-and-Paul's Cathedral at Vvedenskoe cemetery, and the Anglican church by St. Andrew’s Church.

Being the first city in Russia in accommodating Jewish communities and synagogues, Moscow can be called the capital of Russian Judaism. The first Jewish merchants came to Moscow  in the 17th century giving rise to the Judaism in the country. Today one can find a large number of synagogues here, for example, Moscow Choral Synagogue, the Synagogue in Maryina Roscha, the Synagogue on Bolshaya Bronnaya, the Synagogue in Otradnoe, the Memory Synagogue.

Buddhism is a relatively new religion in Moscow with just a few religious points located here: Tubden Shedubling with a Stupa and Moscow Buddhist Centre. There is also a Buddhist religious institution, called the Karma Kagyu School. The School is considered to be one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist schools by the amount of adherents.

The Muslim community in Moscow totals to two million people today. The city accommodates six major mosques but the center for Muslim religious life is the Cathedral Mosque, which is the tallest mosque in Europe.

The Hinduism is not forgotten in Moscow, too. Represented by the ISKCON (Hare Krishna movement), the Hindu center is located on Kuseina Street in the north of the city.

As a truly democratic city, Moscow welcomes adherents of all religious groups showing acceptance and non-discrimination of religious minorities. Being home to many religious communities, it recognizes the right to freedom of conscience and religious belief.