Moldovan Orthodox Church (Officially: Orthodox Church of Moldova, (canonical name: Metropolis of Chisinau and all Moldova) is an autonomous entity of the Russian Orthodox Church with canonical jurisdiction in Moldova, including the disputed region of Transdniestria.
Together with the Metropolis of Bessarabia (an autonomous church under the Romanian Orthodox Church), it is one of the two major churches of Moldova.
At the 2005 census, 3,158,015 people or 95.5% of those declaring a religion claimed to be Eastern Orthodox. The Moldovan Orthodox Church has also stained relations with ROCOR, which only has a few followers in the country.
From 1373 to 1401 Moldavia was a self-ruled church until Ottoman conquest.
1401 to 1940
From 1401 to 1812 the territory was part of different eparchies of the Patriarchate of Constantinople which in turn was responsible to the Ottoman Sultanate. From 1791 to 1812 the territory was part of the Moldovo-Wallachian Exarchate of Constantinople.
From 1812 to 1918 the territory constituted the Chisinau Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its first Metropolitan was Gavriil (Banulescu-Bodoni). Its last metropolitan was Anastasios, the future first-hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
From 1918 to 1940 the territory constituted part of the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia during the existence of Greater Romania.
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1940 to 1992
From 1940 to 1992 the territory constituted the Metropolis of Chisinau and all Moldova of the Church of Russia.
In October 1992 the Church of Russia granted autonomy to the Metropolitan Church of Chisinau and all Moldova. It currently holds the majority of the Eastern Orthodox population, parishes, monasteries, and churches in Moldova.
The Moldovan Orthodox Church has four eparchies: Chisinau, Tiraspol and Dubasari, Edinets and Briceani, plus Cahul and Comrat. Church languages are Romanian and Slavonic. Church music is Byzantine and Russian. Entities are 1080 parishes, 30 monasteries, 1 academy, 2 seminaries.
The Metropolis of Bessarabia, has about 84 parishes within the nation of Moldova. The Old Rite Russian Orthodox Church make up approximately 3.6% of the population.
The head of the Moldovan Orthodox Church is Metropolitan Vladimir, who is a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The autonomous Metropolitanate of Basarabia
The autonomous Metropolitanate of Basarabia is said to have 30 to 84 parishes in Moldova, the Odesa region of Ukraine, and the Chuvash region of Russia in the Ural mountains. It was founded by the bishop of Balti, Petru (Paduraru) in 1992, with the support of the Church of Romania. It was also supported by political parties opposing independence for the Republic of Moldova. It considers itself to be the heir of the Metropolitanate of Bessarabia which existed in 1918-1940 during the period of Greater Romania. Conflict continues between the Church of Romania and the Church of Russia over Moldova and other areas.