Moscow, September 22, 2016
The Russian Orthodox Church hails the spiritual affinity between Russia and Greece and calls on Moscow and Athens to preserve it, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill said on Wednesday.
"As long as she [the Mother of God] keeps Russia and Greece under her protecting veil we will survive. May God grant that the origins of our spiritual affinity are not disregarded … by our statesmen. We will remind them about them if they are neglected," the patriarch said, speaking at the opening of the exhibition dedicated to the ties between Russia's Orthodox Church and Greece's Mount Athos.
Holy Mount Athos, located on a peninsula in northeastern Greece, is a famous monastic center with 17 Greek monasteries, one Russian named after St. Panteleimon, one Bulgarian and one Serbian. The district enjoys autonomous status within the Greek Republic.
Russia and Greece are celebrating 2016 as a cross-cultural year, marking the millennial anniversary of the first Russian settlement on the Holy Mountain.