The message reads, in part:
“The great holiday of Easter elicits kindness in the hearts of millions of believers, unites them around enduring Orthodox spiritual values, centuries-old historical and cultural traditions of our people.
On this holiday, I would like to highlight the great constructive role of the Russian Orthodox Church in education and charity, strengthening the community’s moral values and educating the young generation.
The Church does a great deal to address urgent social problems and to preserve interethnic and interreligious peace in the country. Such complicated, demanding work deserves profound and sincere recognition.”
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Vladimir Putin attended the night Easter service at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia lead the festive service. According to tradition, the President of Russia and the Patriarch gave each other Easter presents.
Before the divine Easter service, a delegation from the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation delivered the Holy Fire from Jerusalem.