The message of greetings reads, in part:
“This joyful holiday is dear to millions of people. It turns us to the source of our spiritual traditions, to ideals of love and charity that have for centuries served to unite the nation and helped withstand in times of trial and trouble.
I would like to note that the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional Christian denominations play a truly unique role in establishing the moral standards of society, in the proper education of the younger generation and in retaining our rich cultural and historical heritage. This is an enormous job of great significance that deserves recognition.”
The President wished peace, happiness and prosperity to all Orthodox Christians and all citizens of Russia celebrating Christmas.
On Christmas night, Vladimir Putin attended a holiday mass at the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin in the village of Otradnoye near Voronezh.