Highly Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich,
Many beneficial changes have taken place in the years of reforms in Russia. It is gratifying to note among them the changed nature of church-state relations that has given true freedom to the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time in her history.
The state, Church and civil society are called today to work together, for they have common tasks in many respects. Foremost among them are the tasks of peacemaking, combating the threat of terrorism, spiritual, moral and patriotic education, concern for the preservation and revival of Russian culture, care of socially unprotected people, overcoming alcoholism, drug-addiction, crime and other vices threatening Russia's future.
Unfortunately, the situation with regard to drug-addiction remains extremely acute in the country. The Russian Orthodox Church believes it is necessary that the government, business community and society should combine efforts in combating the narcotization of Russia, involve all sections of the Russian business community in practical anti-drug work and increase the efficiency of cooperation among all social institutions, building on modern knowledge of ways to oppose drug-addition and on fundamental Russian traditions.
The Russian Orthodox Church has come out with an initiative to hold an All-Russia Reflection-Action Conference on "Appeal to the Church: Government, Business and Society Against Drug-Addiction in Russia", which is to consider the participation of the Russian business community in combating drug-addiction. In addition, it is proposed to consider a Concept of the Prevention of Drug-Addiction in Russia drafted by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Aware of the great attention you pay to the health of the younger generation and problems of drug-addiction in Russia, may I ask you to take part in the opening of the conference, to greet it and to give the Russian Federation Government an appropriate instruction to assist in organizing it.
The conference will take place on November 24-25, 2005, at the Church Councils Hall of the Church of Christ the Saviour.
With sincere respect,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia