Adopted at the Sacred Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, this document sets forth the basic provisions of her teaching on church-state relations and a number of problems socially significant today. It also reflects the official position of Moscow Patriarchate on relations with state and secular society. In addition, it gives a number of guidelines to be applied in this field by the episcopate, clergy and laity.
The nature of the document is determined by the needs experienced by the whole of the Russian Orthodox Church during a long historical period both within and beyond the canonical territory of Moscow Patriarchate. Therefore, its deals primarily with fundamental theological and ecclesio-social issues, as well as those aspects of the life of state and society which were and are equally relevant for the whole Church in the end of the 20th century and in the nearest future.