Moscow—Boasting an official population of 12.2 million residents and with a significantly unreported number of immigrant workers bumping that number to 17 million, Moscow is the largest city in Europe. Moscow has a density of 8,537.2 people per square kilometer (22,111 people per square mile).
And there are no signs that the growth of the city will subside any time soon. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, migrants, both legal and illegal, have been coming to Moscow in droves from other parts of Russia and former Soviet republics in search of better living conditions and higher pay. This will continue as long as Moscow offers higher standards of living than the rest of Russia. The average monthly salary in the state is 61,200 rubles (1045 USD), which is almost double the nationwide average.
There are many ethnicities represented in Moscow, partly due to the multiple people groups that are native to Russia. Also, many students and guest workers from around the world are found in all economic sectors of Moscow. Historically shaped by the Orthodox Church, Moscow was steeped in communistic atheism which still shapes the mindset of many Moscovites. Nevertheless, due to migration, Muslims account for 14% of the city’s population.
As a center of power that provides educational and economic opportunities, Moscow will continue to be a magnet for an increasing number of people in Eurasia. The question is, “Will the Church be present when the world arrives in Moscow?”
Tom Rosson is the writer of this article who serves as the Regional Superintendent for Eastern Europe and the CIS. He also is the President of the Eurasian Theological Seminary – Moscow.