Church-state relations

The Council for cooperation with religious associations under the government of the Penza region took place on 27 June 2018 in the building of the Penza theological Seminary.

In the event, which, according to the regulations of the Board, should be not less than 2 times per year, attended by representatives of religious denominations and officials of the regional government.

The Board is chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Penza region Vasily trokhin, who chaired the meeting devoted to the subject of religious education.

Members of the Council were:

  • Metropolitan of Penza and Nizhny Lomov Seraphim;
  • Deputy Chairman of the Regional spiritual administration of Muslims of Penza region Ildar Nigmatullin;
  • Plenipotentiary representative of the commanding Bishop of the Russian United Union of Christians of Evangelical faith in the Penza region Sergey Kireev;
  • senior pastor of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of the Penza region and Republic Mordovia Oleg TOMAK;
  • head of children’s education a Centralized religious organization “Church of the Holy Trinity,” of Christians of Evangelical faith (Pentecostals) Julia Barashkova;
  • the Rabbi of the Jewish community of Penza Dan Savinov;
  • the Chairman of missionary Department of the Penza diocese of Russian Orthodox Church Archpriest Pavel Kolesnikov;
  • Professor of Church history, Penza theological Seminary Irina Maslova,
  • Vice-rector of the Penza theological Seminary Archpriest Nikolai Groshev;
  • officials of the regional and city authorities, representatives of power structures.

    Before the meeting, Metropolitan of Penza and Nizhny Lomov Seraphimgave a tour of the building of the Seminary, showing her the room and highlighting certain aspects of the educational process. In the Seminary, which is equipped according to all modern requirements of the educational process, trained over 300 seminarians.

    In his opening remarks Vasily trokhin noted that young people often becomes the object of attacks from people who are using the Internet and social networks, trying to shake the regime and the unity of the nation. In this regard, of particular importance is any educational process, including in the structures of religious direction.

    Further representatives of different religions spoke about the experience of building the system of religious education in unions. About how the system is constructed of pre-school education in the Protestant churches of the region told Julia Barashkova.

    Pastor Sergey Kireev spoke about the importance of religious education, and also about the significant contribution that Board members make to the prevention of extremism and harmonizing inter-confessional relations. In addition, the pastor took the initiative on the eve of reformation Day (October 31) to establish a memorial plate on the building, which before the revolution was the first Protestant Church in Penza. Thus, Penza Protestants want to celebrate a memorable date — the 180-anniversary of the consecration of the Alexander Evangelical Church, which the parishioners were many prominent residents, including the family of one of the founders of the Soviet theatre of V. E. Meyerhold.

    “In the Penza region interfaith relations are at a high enough level. Our region is multi-religious and it is very important that representatives of different religious branches are able not only to live in mutual harmony, but also to implement joint projects”, — said pastor Sergey Kireev.

    Then the head of the internal policy of the government of the Penza region Pavel Maslov, the chief of Department on Affairs of the noncommercial organisations of Management of Ministry of justice of the Penza region Olga Medvedevmade presentations about the importance of respecting religious associations of the Russian legislation.

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