Patriarch Kirill Gives New Year Blessing, Calls for Prayers for Orthodox in Ukraine

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MOSCOW – Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, called on believers to pray for the Orthodox in Ukraine and noted that politicians will not be able to destroy the spiritual unity of the people. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church announced this on December 31st before the start of the New Year prayer service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

According to him, now the Orthodox in Ukraine are going through a difficult period of their recent history. “Let us hope that all these disorders and this whole mess will go away, and no forces will destroy the spiritual unity of the Ukrainian people, will not destroy the Orthodox Church, which carries salvation to people,” the patriarch said, stressing that “no one of worldly masters” has such power.

The head of the Russian Church also congratulated those present on the upcoming New Year and wished that God’s blessing be on the Fatherland and all of historical Rus,  Interfax reports .

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Earlier in the day, Patriarch Kirill sent a message to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with an appeal to abandon the formation of “autocephaly” in Ukraine .

On December 15th, with the support of the Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko and the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, a so-called “unifying council” was held. The head of the newly-formed so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine was the “Metropolitan” of the unrecognized Kyiv Patriarchate of Epiphanius (Sergey Dumenko).

Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on the situation, revealed his knowledge regarding the direct involvement of the Ukrainian authorities in church affairs, and also stressed that the result was the formation of the “united schismatic church of the Istanbul parish”.

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