28 April 2011, 14:44
Patriarch Kirill to visit Japan
Moscow, April 28, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is planning to visit Japan in 2012, in particular, to check progress in the Orthodox churches' reconstruction process.
"I am planning to visit Japan next year, in particular, the Sendai diocese destroyed by the disaster, to express solidarity with Japanese brothers and sisters, to pray with them and think of what could be done to facilitate swift recovery from the disaster," the Patriarch said at an Easter reception organized by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.
The next year will see the 100th anniversary since the day of St. Nicholas of Japan, "the Russian priest who brought the Orthodox religion to Japan and then led the Japanese Church," he recalled.
The Japanese people managed to "withstand the disaster at the Fukushima plant with courage and in an organized fashion," he said.
The Japanese quakes affected the Autonomous Japanese Orthodox Church (a self-governed Church of the Moscow Patriarchate), particularly the diocese of Sendai, he said. None of the clergy was killed, but some members of the congregation were, also several churches have been damaged.
The Russian Church has raised a substantial amount of money to rebuild Orthodox Churches, and hopefully, "the reconstruction work will begin in the near future," the Patriarch added.
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