Russian Orthodox Church Installs New Patriarch

MOSCOW (AP) - A new patriarch has been installed atop the
Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Kirill is the first leader of the world's largest Orthodox church to take office since the fall of the Soviet Union. He's been a cautious advocate of change and a prominent figure in trying to reconcile with the Roman Catholic Church.

The 62-year-old Kirill was installed Sunday in Moscow. The ceremony was broadcast live on national television and was attended by President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

While millions of Russians have returned to the historic faith since the Soviet collapse, polls show only about 5 percent of Russians are observant believers, and only 30 percent believe they should follow the moral teachings of the church.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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