EUROPE/RUSSIA - Patriarch Kirill: let us collect funds for Christians in Syria

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Moscow (Agenzia Fides) - An amazing collection of money in all the churches of the Patriarchate of Moscow, to be allocated to the Syrian people torn by civil war. The initiative was launched yesterday, Tuesday, June 25, by the Patriarch Kirill with a statement released by the Synodal Department for information of the Patriarchate in Moscow. "In that biblical land, where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side," stressed the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, "the relics are now desecrated, churches violated, Christians are forced to abandon their homes, they are often persecuted and tortured and killed". In his speech, Kirill drew a parallel between the current tragedy of the Syrian people and the trials the Russians and the Patriarchate in Moscow went through last century: "Our people," recalled the Patriarch "have experienced something similar. Thousands of our fellow citizens were killed during the Revolution, the Civil War and the persecutions against the Church. We cannot remain indifferent to the innocent blood that now flows again. We cannot put an end to this war, but we can pray that it stops as soon as possible and we can help those who are in difficulty, including our Christian brothers and sisters."
The funds raised in the Russian churches next Sunday will be sent by the charitable organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church directly to the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, that is based in Damascus. "Now the human blood that is flowing in the streets of that city," said Patriarch Kirill "reminds us of the Apostle Paul and the works and sufferings of the Saints of ancient times." (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/6/2013).