Father Alexander Men (1935-1990) was an Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, biblical scholar, preacher and writer, who has come to be perceived as a saint and martyr by many throughout the world. In 2010, the worldwide commemoration of his assassination coincided with celebrations for what would have been his 85th birthday.
Father Alexander Men was a great leader, and some say the architect of religious renewal in Russia at the end of the Soviet period. He was a priest who found the time to write a great number of books, including a seven volume study of world religions, ranging in style from the academic to the poplular. He also lectured widely, invited to speak on radio and television and becoming a nationally known figure. He founded the first Sunday school after the communist persecution, established an Orthadox open university and founded a charity volunteer group at a childrens’ hospital. He baptized thousands into the faith, and as well as carrying out his day to day ministirial duties he was hailed as “the apostle to the intellectuals”.
His life, character and writings continue to speak powerfully to a wide range of people, not just in Russia and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was assassinated in 1990 on a Sunday morning on his way to the church where he served. As his life and works become better known outside of Russia, through his writings, memory and spiritual heritage, he continues to influence and inspire people the world over.