I. General provisions
1. The Russian Orthodox Church is a multinational Local Autocephalous Church in doctrinal unity and in prayerful and canonical communion with other Local Orthodox Churches.
2. The Autonomous and Self-governing Churches, Exarchates, Metropolitan areas, metropolias, dioceses, vicariates, Synodal institutions, deaneries, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, sisterhoods, theological educational institutions, missions, representations and metochions (hereinafter called ‘canonical units’), which constitute the Russian Orthodox Church, canonically comprise the Moscow Patriarchate.
3. The jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church shall extend to persons of Orthodox confession living in the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, Mongolia, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Estonia, Japan, and also to the Orthodox Christians living in other countries and voluntarily joining this jurisdiction.
4. The Russian Orthodox Church exercises its activities with respect of and adherence to the acting laws in each state on the basis of:
a) the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Tradition;
b) the canons and rules of the Holy Apostles, Holy Ecumenical and Local Councils, and the Holy Fathers;
c) the resolutions of its Local and Bishops’ Councils, the Holy Synod and the decrees of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia;
d) the present Statute.
5. The Russian Orthodox Church is registered in the Russian Federation as a legal entity and centralized religious organization.
The Moscow Patriarchate and other canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church in the territory of the Russian Federation shall be registered as legal entities and religious organizations.
The canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church in the territory of other states can be registered as legal entities in accordance with the laws of these states.
6. The Russian Orthodox Church has a hierarchical structure of governance.
7. The supreme bodies of the church authority and governance shall be the Local Council, the Bishops’ Council and the Holy Synod headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
The Supreme Church Council shall act as executive body under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod.
The Inter-Council Presence shall act as advisory body assisting the supreme church authority of the Russian Orthodox Church in preparing decisions pertaining to the most important issues in the internal life and external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church.
8. The ecclesiastical court in the Russian Orthodox Church shall act in three instances:
a) the diocesan court;
b) the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court;
c) the Court of the Bishops’ Council.
9. The officials and staff of the canonical units as well as clerics and laypeople cannot apply to the bodies of state authority and to civil court on the matters pertaining to internal church life, including those of canonical governance, church order, liturgical and pastoral activities.
10. The canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church shall not engage in political activities and shall not offer their premises for holding political events.