80-year old Patriarch Alexy II (secular name Aleksey Mikhailovich Ridiger) was the 15th Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church since the patriarchal office was established in Russia in 1589. On 7 June 1990 the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church elected him to the Patriarchal See of Moscow. His enthronement took place on 10 June 1990.
The name of Alexy II is associated with spiritual revival of Russia. In his time The Church received an opportunity to freely conduct religious, educational and charitable activities, a large number of new eparchies was established and several thousand new temples and monasteries were restored and built. More that hundred new religious educational institutions were opened.