Voices from Russia

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Orthodox Christians Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ

Patriarch Aleksei Mikhailovich Rediger and President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin sharing the Easter Greeting 8 April 2007

Today, Orthodox Christian believers celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, “the Feast of Feasts, and the Celebration of all Celebrations”, symbolising the victory of life over death. At the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the midnight Easter liturgy was served by Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all Russia. A special chartered aircraft brought the Holy Fire to Moscow from Jerusalem, with the assistance of President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Dmitri Medvedev, both of whom attended the midnight service at the cathedral.

The Easter liturgy was served in Orthodox churches all over Russia, with 700 parishes holding services in Moscow alone. In contemporary Russian society, sociologists have found out that Easter is a true national holiday. A poll conducted by VTsIOM revealed that only 6 percent of all Russians are not going to celebrate Easter at all. It is a significant fact that the poll data showed that the Resurrection of Christ is going to be celebrated not only by Christians, but, also by adherents of other faiths and the majority of atheists. According to the VTsIOM, over the last three years the number of those not celebrating Easter has dropped 50 percent. Over the same period, the number of people who planned to note the holiday in one form or another grew. In a related vein, the “Public Opinion” Foundation discovered that 10 percent of the Russian population intended to go to midnight church services on Easter.

27 April 2008



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