16 August 2006, 15:08
Pyongyang's Trinity Church a symbol of Russian-Korean friendship - Alexy II
Moscow, August 16, Interfax, - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II has congratulated the North Korean people on National Liberation Day and expressed his gratitude to the country's authorities for their decision to build an Orthodox church in Pyongyang.
"We were rejoiced to learn about the [North] Korean Orthodox believers' desire to maintain canonical ties with the Russian Orthodox Church," Alexy II said in a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Since the beginning of the activities of the Russian spiritual mission in Korea in 1900, Pyongyang's Life-Giving Trinity Cathedral, which was consecrated by Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill last Sunday, has become "the first Orthodox temple on the Korean peninsula built fully in line with the traditions of the Russian church," the letter reads.
The cathedral, which is a symbol of Korean-Russian friendship, was consecrated in honor of the Holy Trinity following requests from Korean believers, the patriarch said, reminding the North Korean authorities about the historic role of the Holy Trinity Monastery founded by St. Sergius of Radonezh in the spiritual life of the Russian people and their unification.
"It was at the St. Sergius Lavra that the first Korean clergymen received training in theology. We believe that they will pray for their Motherland's unification in the Holy Trinity temple," the letter reads.
Metropolitan Kirill passes on Alexy II's letter to the North Korean leader at a meeting with North Korean Parliament chief Kim Yong Nam.
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