Voices from Russia

Monday, 28 July 2014

Christian Kids from Syria to Holiday at Russian Camp Due to Russian Generosity… Americans Nowhere to Be Seen

00 syrian kids. 28.07.14


On Monday, 100 children from the Damask Orthodox Shelter in the Mar Tekla Monastery in the Christian village of Ma’loula shall arrive in Moscow for a two-week vacation in a Russian holiday camp. V I Yakunin, the head of the Centre of National Glory supervisory board, one of the backers of the project, told us, “I’m certain that the Syrian kids will remember their stay in a Russian camp for their whole lives. I hope that this would be able to redirect the kids from the horrible events that befell them”. The kids will meet Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, have a tour around Moscow, take part in projects, and do sports. The Centre, together with the Andrei Pervozvanny Foundation, arranged holidays for kids from hot spots in the past… ten years ago, it sponsored some 540 children from Kosovo and Metohija.

The three years of conflict in Syria completely or partly destroyed some 1,600 schools and more than half of all hospitals. According to UN estimates, more than 9 million refugees inside Syria and more than 2 million in neighbouring countries are now in need of help. UNICEF estimated that the number of Syrian children living in poverty reached 6.6 million in June 2014. In the past, Russia assisted Syria. In 2013, the MChS sent 200 tons of humanitarian aid to Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In return, the Syrian government decided to introduce the Russian language into the school curriculum starting in the 2014/15 school year.

28 July 2014

Rossiya Segodnya



Thursday, 9 January 2014

Patriarch Irinej’s Christmas Epistle Emphasised Kosovo

00 Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. 09.01.14


In his traditional Christmas epistle, Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović put special emphasis on the position of Serbs in Kosovo, saying that suffering and injustice persist there. He noted, “Unrest and violence rule in Kosovo and Metohija. For decades and centuries, they’ve robbed us of that province, of historical Old Serbia”. The patriarch wrote his message ahead of Christmas… celebrated by Serbia‘s majority Orthodox believers according to the Orthodox calendar, on 7 January. He said, “To our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija we say, ‘Be aware that you aren’t alone and forgotten, the entire Serbian nation and justice-loving people of the world are with you’”, calling on Kosovo Serbs to live in peace, harmony, and love, both with each other and with everyone else.

Patriarch Irinej also touched on the position of Serbs in former Yugoslav republics, noting that a campaign against the Cyrillic script is “used as a cover to continue the exile of Serbs from Croatia, to intimidate them, to prevent them from coming back”. He appealed to the Macedonian authorities to immediately release Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski, head of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who’s “unjustly held captive, his flock is denied freedom of faith and conscience”. He also urged the international community to prevent further discrimination. Vladyki Irinej also protested incessant “attacks of the authorities in Montenegro on the identity, status, and freedom of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and its attempts to interfere with its internal affairs and canonical structure”. In his epistle, the Patriarch wondered why the ideologues of the schismatic Montenegrin Orthodox Church don’t require a similar thing from Roman Catholics as well, to ask them to move their seat from the Vatican to Montenegro.

3 January 2014



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Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić sez “We’ll Never Abandon Kosovo Serbs”

00 Tomislav Nikolić with Patriarch Irinej. 09.01.14


Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić delivered Christmas greetings to Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović and to all Orthodox Serbs on Monday, Orthodox Christmas Eve. In his Christmas message, the Serbian president’s press service said that President Nikolić wished a most joyous Orthodox holiday in peace and happiness to all Serbian citizens and to all Orthodox believers, saying, “Dear brothers and sisters, citizens of Serbia, Serbs in the diaspora, Christmas is a symbol of joy, unity, peace and gentleness. This is a holiday that brings together the family, sets up strong ties through the force of faith and love, and it brings together all Serbs”. The president wished a happy Christmas to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, going on to say, “Rest assured, we’ll never abandon you, we’ll never turn you over”. He added that this was an obligation and legacy from our ancestors, who gave their lives selflessly in the fight for this spiritual and ideological symbol of the Serb people.

Then, he pointed up, “It’s unimportant that those who spent their whole existence dedicated to materialism, who seek to satisfy their spiritual hunger by amassing wealth, mock our spiritual striving. What matters is that we, who have our essence, origins, and spirituality, persevere on the road of righteously maintaining our identity, origins, and culture”. Nikolić emphasised that this made us who we are… “a brave and just people, special, and noble”. Then, he said, “I wish a merry Christmas to Serbs in the region and Serbs in the diaspora, who know how hard it is to live outside the mother country, and how hard it is to earn your daily bread and prove that you aren’t second-class citizens. Our thoughts and love are with you”, adding that although physically far apart, Serbs would stand together in love and unity on this most joyous Orthodox holiday, saying in conclusion, “Dear brothers and sisters, the challenges ahead are great, but unity is something we should all strive to achieve. We should overcome personal vanities and animosities, and work together because we share the same goal”.

6 January 2014



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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Patriarch Irinej: Kosovo Serbs Should Turn Out and Vote in Local Elections… Serves Liturgy at Patriarchate of Peć

00 Serbian Church in Kosovo


On Monday, Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović said that Kosovo Serbs should turn out for the upcoming local elections. He asked them to vote for the best amongst them, for “men of authority”. Irinej said that it’d be “tragic if Serbs boycotted the vote and failed to form governments in regions where they make up the majority. If Serbs are in a position to vote, let them vote for the best amongst them, for the men of renown and authority, whose word would mean something. Given that our people lack unity, the Serb turnout in the elections should be ‘all or none’, as only that can prove salutary and useful”. Patriarch Irinej served liturgy for the feastday of the SPC Patriarchate of Peć… the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God.


The Patriarchate of Peć marked its feastday… the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God… with a liturgy served by Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović along with Bishop Teodosije Šibalić of Raska and Prizren. Patriarch Irinej said that the Patriarchate of Peć means much to the Serbian people as it is a spiritual centre, the historic seat of the Serbian Patriarchs, and the center from which the Serbian people was always spoken to. Commenting on the position of the Serbian holy site, which is guarded by members of the Kosovo police rather than KFOR, Patriarch Irinej said that the people and the Church would survive in this area regardless of who’s guarding the monastery, saying, “If they perform their duty honourably, we’ll be thankful, but we’ll be here regardless of who’s standing at the gate”. KFOR soldiers secured the Patriarchate of Peć since June 1999, but as of 19 August, a multiethnic unit of the Kosovo police in charge of preservation of cultural and religious sites in Kosovo-Metohija took over the task. Now, KFOR soldiers in the province are securing only Visoki Dečani Monastery.

14 October 2013





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