Clergy to train to restore Russian military priesthood

Sept. 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

MOSCOW, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The Russian army said Friday a group of Orthodox priests will undergo military training at a Defense Ministry university.

The clergy will take a monthlong course in Moscow and will learn military history, war tactics and military regulations, and how to provide troops with psychological and emotional support.

In the past two years, the number of chaplains has nearly tripled. There are currently more than 80 serving with the Russian Armed Forces, RIA Novosti said.

The government is attempting to restore the practice of military priesthood, which existed from the 18th century to the start of the Soviet era.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev announced the initiative in 2009.

The army did not say when the training would begin.

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