History of the Archdiocese
Since 19th century, Greeks, Russians, Romanians and other Orthodox Europeans came to Congo to work as staff, businessmen, merchants, farmers, innkeepers, etc. Very soon the doctor Panayiotis Potogkos in 1872 became the Greek explorer who set foot on Congolese soil and selflessly offered medical services.
After the assembly of Orthodox populations, the Patriarch of Alexandria founded in 1958 the Archdiocese of Central Africa and Exarch of the Ecuador (you can view the Patriarchal Tome (in Greek) that established the Metropolis of Central Africa here), with Kyprianos as the first Archbishop. Kyprianos was succeeded by Nicodemus, and he by Timothy Kontomeros in 1977 who worked as a missionary until his death in 2003.
In 2003, His Beatitude Patriarch Petros VII ordained Archimandrite Ignatios Madenlidis as Archbishop of Central Africa. He worked as a missionary for about twenty years in Kananga, and resigned in 2010.
In October 2010, the Holy Synod of the Church of Alexandria elected Archimandrite Nikiforos Mikragiannanitis, professor and general academic secretary of the Orthodox University of Central Africa. He was ordained a bishop on October 24 in Alexandria by the Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II, and was enthroned on December 19, 2010 in the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas in Kinshasa.
Today the jurisdiction of the Holy Archdiocese of Central Africa is the region of Congo, with the exception of the province of Katanga which is an autonomous diocese having as bishop His Grace Meletios Gregoriatis.
Within the Archdiocese of Central Africa there are 38 priests, 1 deacon and 3 monks serving. There are 13 community churches and 135 parishes, that provide spiritual guidance to the local Orthodox population, which consists of Congolese, Greeks, Russians, Romanians and Orthodox Christians from other nationalities.
In 2007, a faculty of Theology "St. Athanasius Athonite" was founded in the university, in which 78 students are currently enrolled. The teachers are from Congo, Saint Sergius of Paris, Athens, Thessaloniki and Strasbourg. Furthermore, courses are delivered electronically successfully (e-learning).
At the expense of the Archdiocese, there are schools that operate with a large number of local students. (Only in the Central Missionary of Kananga, the Mission Complex consists of approximately 1000 students).
The Holy Metropolis of Central Africa performs multidimensional Orthodox social work.
The efforts of the Archdiocese are supported by visiting doctors from Greece, who volunteer their services to patients without religious motives.