It was with profound sorrow that I received news of the earthquake in Christchurch that took away many human lives, caused pain and suffering and deprived thousand of shelter. I would like to express my most sincere sympathy to the near and dear of the victims and to assure You and the entire people of New Zealand in prayerful support of the Russian Orthodox Church during this hard time.
May the All-Merciful Lord rest the souls of the dead, heal the wounded and console all those who have suffered from the destructive natural disaster. Let our hope of the survival of people still under rumbles be firm.
With deep condolences,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
February 23, 2011