2017-01-09 10:50:00

Putin's Christmas message notes Russian Orthodox Church's role in preserving civil peace, accord

Moscow, January 9, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens celebrating Christmas, the Kremlin press office said.

"The Christmas days are shining a special joy onto our lives, awakening the kindest feelings, turning us towards spiritual sources and traditions. This is the time for good thoughts and deeds, sincere care for our loved ones and those who need help and support," the head of state said in his message.

"The Russian Orthodox Church, other Christian denominations are playing a huge, truly unique role in reviving the high ethical, moral values, guarding our rich historical and cultural heritage. They increasingly cooperate with state and public organizations in the cause of education, enlightenment and charity, in strengthening the institution of family and bringing up the young generation," the president said.

"Of course, they are doing a great deal for harmonization of the inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, preserving civil peace and accord in our country," he said. "Such a big and constructive effort deserves deep gratitude and respect," Putin said.

"My best wishes of health, success and well-being to Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens celebrating Christmas," the message said.