Patriarch Kirill congratulates Russians with Orthodox Christmas
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has congratulated all Russians with Christmas saying that the country has been progressing despite the global financial crisis, RIA Novosti reported.
"We have not rolled back... It just that our move forward has slowed down," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said as he led the festive service at Cathedral of Christ the Savior in central Moscow.
He said that as the year has passed one can say that the most terrible thing did not happen, particularly "the country did not plunge into the crisis of 1990's."
Addressing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who attended the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior along with his wife, Patriarch Kirill said that the country's authorities should be thanked for avoiding the reoccurrence of the economic crisis in 1990s.
He added that the passed year proved that people and the authorities "can jointly undergo trials."
The Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches, Athos monasteries, some Catholics and some Protestants celebrate Christmas on January 7 in line with the Julian calendar, while Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and some Orthodox churches celebrate the feast on December 25.
There are more than 800 Orthodox churches in Moscow, and over 29,000 subordinated to the Russian Orthodox Church across the globe.