Vice-chairman of the Department for the External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate

Archpriest Nikolay Balashov


He was born on 13 December 1956 in Moscow. 

He was ordained as deacon on April 9 and as priest on 23 April 1989 by Archbishop Mikhail (Mudyugin) of Vologda and Veliky Ustyug, He served at parishes of the dioceses of Vologda (1989-1994) and Novgorod (1994-1998). 

Since 1999 he has been a staff member of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. In 1999, he took part in the work of the Working Group for Drafting the Russian Orthodox Church’s Basic Social Concept.

From 2001 he was the DECR acting secretary for inter-Orthodox relations and the Russian Orthodox Church’s institutions abroad. From 2003 to 2007 he was the secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Commission for Dialogue with the Russian Church Abroad. 

On March 31, 2009, by the decision of the Holy Synod, he was appointed a vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

He has been a member of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission (since 2013), the Commission for the Affairs of the Old Belief Parishes and for Cooperation with the Old Belief (since 2005) and the Synodal Liturgical Commission (since 2014). 

He was a member of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church (2009), the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church (since 2009), and the Presidium of the Inter-Council Presence (since 2010).

He has been the rector of the church of the Finding of the Lord’s Sepulchre-in-Uspensky Vrazhek (since March 7, 2012).

Education, academic degrees

graduate of Moscow Theological Seminary (1991) and Sankt-Petersburg Theological Academy (1997), Candidate of Theology (1997). Master of Theology (2006). Doctor of Theology (2014).



He is a holder of liturgical awards including the right to wear a mitre (2019), the right to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with the Holy Gates open until the Cherubic Song (2019). 

  • Order of the Holy Prince Rostislav of Moravia, class II (Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, 2004)

  • Blessing Diploma of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (2005)

  • Order of the Holy Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles, class III (2007)

  • Order of St. Nestor the Chronicler, class III, (Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 2007)

  • Order “The 15th Anniversary of the Kharkov Bishops’ Council and the 15th anniversary of the Primatial Service of His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir and the blessing diploma from the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (2007)

  • Medal of the Holy Martyr Isidore of Yuryev (Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, 2007)

  • Jubilee Order “The 1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia” and the Blessing Diploma from the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (2008)

  • Order of St. Sava the Enlightener with the Knight Commander Star (Orthodox Church of Alexandria, 2010)

  • Order of St. Dimitry of Rostov (Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 2010)

  • Order of the Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow, class III (2011)

  • Order of the Holy First Apostles Peter and Paul, class III (Orthodox Church of Antioch, 2011)

  • The Polish Orthodox Church’s Order of St. Mary Magdalene Equal-to-the-Apostles, 3rd class (2012)

  • St. Paul Golden Cross (Greek Orthodox Church, 2013)

  • Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, class III (2014)

  • Order of St. Sava the Enlightener, class III (Serbian Orthodox Church, 2014)

  • The Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Order of St. Isidore of Yuriev, 3rd class (2016)

  • Medal of the Cross of the Holy Sepulchre, class II (Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, 2017)

  • Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov, class III (2019)

  • Patriarchal Diploma (2019).


  • Order of Friendship (2011)

  • Order of Honour (2016)

Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America meets with Russian ambassador to Brazil


Condolences of Patriarch Kirill over the death of believers in the fire that broke out in Abu-Seifein Church in Cairo


The DECR Chairman expressed his condolences over the tragedy in the church of Abu-Seifein in Cairo


Parishioners of Russian Representation in Beirut on pilgrimage to Metropolis of Zahle and Baalbek


Hierarchical divine service celebrated at the church attached to Russian embassy in Bolivia


Moscow Theological Academy announces admissions to online English-speaking program


Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk meets with Pope Francis of Rome


A hierarch of Serbian Orthodox Church takes part in patronal feast at the Moscow church of Elijah the Prophet in Kitai-Gorod


DECR Chairman meets with Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States


Agreement on legal status of the Serbian Orthodox Church is signed in Montenegro


Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk congratulated the Primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church on the 30th anniversary of his enthronement


A meeting of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops takes place


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the ambassador of Jordan to Russia


DECR secretary for inter-Christian relations meets with the Primate of the Church of India


On the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow Kremlin


Metropolitan Hilarion: To reveal Christ to people is our most important missionary task


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk: The Churches are seeking unity on the issue of climate change.


Metropolitan Hilarion: Constantinople encroaches on others’ property


UOC Chancellor believes that conciliar church wisdom should give assessment for Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions


Bishop Victor of Baryshev: The visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Ukraine will cause suffering to millions of Orthodox Ukrainians


Metropolitan Hilarion: Unification is impossible if one side considers the other ‘heretical’


Interview of chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary


Head of Russia’s MFA Sergey Lavrov’s interview towards DECR chairman Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk’s 55th birthday


Metropolitan Hilarion: Through common efforts we will manage to overcome the pandemic


Metropolitan Hilarion: the work of the DECR can be compared to the service of border-guards


Metropolitan Hilarion: the Russian Orthodox Church does not want primacy in the Orthodox world


Bishop Sylvester of Belogorodka: Constantinople’s actions against Ukraine is the unprecedented example of violation of canonical norms


Irinej, Bishop of Bačka: “Patriarch Bartholomew’s Interference in Ukraine Has Caused a Schism Throughout the Whole of World Orthodoxy”


Metropolitan Hilarion: Summit of the heads of Churches is possible in foreseeable future


Metropolitan Hilarion: A new wave of capturing churches is possible in Ukraine


Presentation of the DECR Chairman at the interreligious meeting on Religion and Education


Dostoevsky and the Gospel


The topic of autocephaly is the only one worthy of a pan-Orthodox Council, believes the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Bačka Irinej.


The Metropolitan of Kykkos Nicephorus: “The unilateral decision by Patriarch Bartholomew on Ukraine threatens pan-Orthodox unity with a schism of monstrous proportions”


Constantinople’s claims to power as a threat to Church unity


Presentation by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the opening of the ‘World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in the Light of Orthodox Dogmatic Teaching’ conference


The Orthodox Understanding of the Eucharist


"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave an online lecture for the Theological Institute of St. John of Damascus, Balamand University


Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk at a session of the Interreligious Council of Russia attended by Mr. Miguel Moratinos, High-Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk greets participants and guests of XIV International Festival ‘Russia Abroad’


Opening address of Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk to participants in the panel discussion on Russki Mir Online


Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the session of Supreme Church Council on 11th December 2019


Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary attends presentation of Metropolitan Hilarion’s book


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia at the opening of the 2nd Summit of World Religious Leaders in Baku



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