Moscow, March 28, 2011
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has called on believers to begin a fundraiser to help Orthodox people in Japan.
"I give my blessing for a special fundraiser for the Orthodox communities of Japan located in the areas affected by the calamity to be organized in all Russian Orthodox churches in the fourth week of lent," the Patriarch said in a message obtained by Interfax-Religion on Monday.
The money will be put into the accounts of the department for Church Charity and Social Service and then will be forwarded to the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church for the restoration of churches, the Patriarch said.
Patriarch Kirill said Japan "has been hit by a horrible calamity, whose scales are now difficult to imagine."
"The bravery with which the Japanese nation is dealing with this test is worthy of respect. Despite the fact that hundreds of people have been left without shelter, they are not losing self-control and do not allow looting and violence, but on the contrary, are comforting and supporting each other," the Patriarch said in his address.
The Patriarch praised the way Orthodox people in Japan have faced the disaster, adding that "intensive praying for the cessation of the disaster" is taking place in the Orthodox churches in Japan and in the Russian church in Tokyo.
By March 28, the Synodal Department for Church Charity had received over $37,000 raised to help people in Japan, the Synodal Department told Interfax.