Moscow, July 21, 2021
The story of the young Russian Orthodox boy who was repeatedly beaten by Muslim children at a summer camp in Kyrgyzstan caused an outcry in both Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
After the story became known, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia wrote a letter to the boy and his family to commend him for his strength of faith and to invite him to Moscow.
I learned with great concern about the incident that happened to you at the sports camp. I would like to express to you my sincere sympathy.
Having shown fortitude and courage, you weren’t afraid of impudent ridicule and bullying from your peers and resolutely defended your faith—defended what is precious and valuable to you. Your act, courage, and firmness are worthy of every support. Millions of your brothers and sisters in Christ in Russia and in other countries empathize with you at this difficult moment—none who learned about this situation have remained indifferent.
Christians of all times have been attacked, but we always remember the words spoken by the Savior in the Gospel: Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (Jn. 16:33). True strength of spirit lies in generosity and nobility, patience and willingness to forgive our offenders. It is these qualities, together with unwavering loyalty to Christ, that distinguish His true followers. Looking at you, I’m glad that Orthodox Christians are growing up and maturing to be so steadfast in their faith today.
I very much hope that those in power and responsible for establishing peace and order in society will do everything possible to prevent such incidences in the future in relation with people of any convictions, nationalities, or religions.
I invite you and your family to visit Moscow to make a pilgrimage to the Orthodox holy sites, meet new friends, and strengthen your faith.
I invoke God’s blessing upon you and your loved ones.
The secretary of the Bishkek Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, Fr. Alexander Pelin, recently had a meeting with the boy and his family.
“We hope and pray that the investigation will be objective and that those who promised to look into this issue will keep their word and not hide any facts. The parents are a little bewildered; they’re tormented from all sides. We wanted to show them that they’re not alone and can receive spiritual support at any time,” Fr. Alexander said.