The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (also called the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, ROCA, ROCOR, the Karlovsty Synod, or the Synod) is a semi-autonomous jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. ROCOR currently has over 400 parishes as well as monasteries for men and women in 40 countries throughout the world, served by nearly 600 priests. In North America, it has approximately 133 parishes in the US and 22 in Canada. There are five ROCOR communities in the United Kingdom and 21 in Australia and New Zealand. There are also roughly 100 communities which owe allegiance to ROCOR in Russia and the other nations of the former Soviet Union.
In 1920, the Soviet government had revealed that it was quite hostile to the Russian Orthodox Church. Saint Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, issued an ukaz (decree) that all Russian Orthodox Christians abroad currently under the authority and protection of his Patriarchate organize and govern themselves independently of the Mother Church, until such time that the Patriarchate would again be free. On September 13, 1922, Russian Orthodox hierarchs in Serbia gave their blessing to the establishment, in Serbia, of a Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, the foundation of ROCOR.
Both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia published on their respective websites the final full text of the Act of Canonical Unity with all relevant supporting documents on November 1, 2006. The Act having been approved by both the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR, it was formally signed in Moscow on May 17, 2007, followed by a concelebration of the Divine Liturgy, bringing the ROCOR into the Moscow Patriarchate.
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