Moscow, June 7, 2018
“The patriarch noted that the Antiochian Church stands together with the Russian Church, speaking against the Church schism in Ukraine,” Sablin said today, following a meeting with the Antiochian patriarch.
The Antiochian Church thus stands together with a number of other local Autocephalous Orthodox Churches that have publicly expressed their support for the canonical Ukrainian Church since the latest provocation of President Petro Poroshenko appealing to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for autocephaly for a new Ukrainian church amalgamated out of the nation’s currently-existing two schismatic bodies.
Sablin is also the Deputy Chairman of the Russian veteran organization Combat Brotherhood. The organization has been a continual source of help and support to those suffering in Syria. The foundation most recently made a sizable donation to St. Thekla Monastery in Maaloula.
ISIS invaded the small town of Maaloula on September 5, 2013, going on a rampage against Christian people and buildings, destroying all holy sites in the city. 3,000 fled the city, leaving only Muslims and the monastery’s forty nuns, twelve of whom were kidnapped by ISIS in early December of the same year. The nuns were released in March, 2014.
The parliamentarian spoke with the patriarch about the difficult situation for Christians in Syria, who have faced persecution and terrorism, including Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo, the patriarch’s younger brother, who was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists five years ago, and whose fate is still unknown.
Pat. John expressed his deep gratitude to the Russian Church and state for their support of the suffering Christians in the Middle East. He also thanked Combat Brotherhood for helping to restore the ancient St. Thekla Monastery in Maaloula, where, thanks to Russian aid, the monastic life will soon be revived after suffering at the hands of terrorists.
The Antiochian primate also personally expressed his gratitude to both His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and President Vladimir Putin while in Moscow in December.
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