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Patriarch Pimen I of Moscow

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Pimen I
Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus
Patriarch Pimen I.gif
Church Russian Orthodox Church
See Moscow
Enthroned 3 June 1971
Reign ended 3 May 1990
Predecessor Alexy I
Successor Alexy II
Personal details
Birth name Sergey Mikhailovich Izvekov
Born July 23, 1910(1910-07-23)
Bogorodsk, Russian Empire
Died May 3, 1990 (aged 79)
Moscow, Soviet Union

Patriarch Pimen I (Russian: Пимен I), born Sergey Mikhailovich Izvekov (July 23 [O.S. July 10] 1910 – May 3, 1990), was the 14th Patriarch of Moscow and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church from 1971 to 1990. He was born in the town of Bogorodsk near Moscow.

On December 5, 1925, he became a monk at Sretensky Monastery in Moscow. He also spent years in various Russian monasteries and cathedrals in Murom, Odessa and Pskov. In 1954 Pimen became head of Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra.

On November 14, 1961 he was appointed Metropolitan of Leningrad and Ladoga. After the death of Patriarch Alexius I metropolitan Pimen was elected Patriarch Pimen I of Moscow and all of Russia in 1971.

Pimen I's task was to lead a Christian church in a state ruled by an officially atheist Communist party. In his post he worked closely with the authorities: he participated in numerous 'peace movement' conferences sponsored by the government. Pimen was awarded the Soviet Peace Fund Medal (1969, 1971) and, in 1970, the Gold Medal "Борцу за мир" ("Fighter for Peace") by the 'Soviet Committee for the Defence of Peace'. Pimen was a member of the World Peace Council from 1963 onwards. In 1961, Pimen was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (орден Трудового Красного Знамени), one of the highest awards of the time. The Soviet state tried to limit and control all religious activity and Pimen struggled to ensure the survival of the Russian Orthodox Church.

At the end of his difficult term as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church he organized the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus' in Russia in 1988. This is believed to be an historic moment marking the end of the persecution of Orthodox Christianity in the Soviet Union.

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Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Alexy I
Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus
1971–1990
Succeeded by
Alexy II

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