PATRIARCH KIRILL ON CHRISTMAS CALLS RESIDENTS OF UKRAINE TO PRESERVE UNITY
by Aleksei Mikheev
RIA Novosti, 6 January 2016
The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill, in his Christmas message on Wednesday appealed to residents of Ukraine with the request "not to be divided in a fratricidal confrontation" and he reminded all believers about the necessity of praying for a speedy end to the conflict.
"I would like to send a special word today to residents of Ukraine. The fratricidal conflict that arose on the Ukrainian land should not divide the children of the church and sow hatred in their hearts. The genuine Christian cannot hate either those near or far," the patriarchal appeal says.
The first hierarch sent an appeal "to all children of the multinational Russian Orthodox Church" to pray "for a speedy and complete end of hostility in Ukraine" and for the healing of wounds inflicted by war on people, "both bodily and spiritual." "Both in the church and at home we will sincerely beseech God for this," he said.
Patriarch Kirill also asked for prayer for Christians suffering from armed conflicts throughout the world and he recalled Christ's words about the necessity "to love your enemies." "May these words become for all of us the guide in life and may anger and hostility toward others never attain a place in our soul," the primate of the RPTs concluded. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 January 2016)
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