Adopted at the Sacred Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, this
document sets forth the basic provisions of her teaching on church-state relations and a
number of problems socially significant today. It also reflects the official position of
Moscow Patriarchate on relations with state and secular society. In addition, it gives a
number of guidelines to be applied in this field by the episcopate, clergy and laity.
The nature of the document is determined by the needs experienced by the whole of the
Russian Orthodox Church during a long historical period both within and beyond the
canonical territory of Moscow Patriarchate. Therefore, its deals primarily with
fundamental theological and ecclesio-social issues, as well as those aspects of the life of
state and society which were and are equally relevant for the whole Church in the end
of the 20th century and in the nearest future.