2017-01-09 16:36:00

Patriarch Kirill invited to Syria

Moscow, January 9, Interfax - Syrian theologians have invited Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia to visit their country.

"Scholars of Islam and the waqf [religious policy] minister of Syria conveyed via us an invitation for His Holiness Patriarch to visit their country, including Maaloula, where ancient Christian relics have been preserved. They said it would be important for the support to the Christians," Albir Krganov, a member of the Russian Public Chamber and the Mufti of Moscow, who has visited Syria as part of the Russian Muslim delegation, told Interfax-Religion.

He said that the delegation, which, in particular, included the Mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin, held meetings with officials, scholars, religious activists and visited the city of Maaloula which was liberated from terrorists. Ancient Christian temples are situated there, and the local residents speak an almost extinct language, Aramaic, which was spoken by Jesus Christ.

Krganov said that an initiative to create an inter-faith Syria support foundation under the aegis of the Public Chamber is currently under discussion.

"We are currently considering a consolidated collection of humanitarian aid for Syria through civil society efforts and representatives of the traditional religions," he said.

Apart from that, Krganov said, Russian Muslims are planning to send medications and equipment for hospital elevators to Syria.

"Elevators aren't working in Syrian hospitals, which makes transporting seriously ill patients inside the buildings very difficult," the mufti said.