Prayers offered in all Russian churches for victims of Crocus City Hall terrorist attack

Moscow, March 25, 2024

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Prayers were offered yesterday, Sunday, March 24, in all churches and monasteries throughout Russia for those killed and injured in the Crocus City Hall tragedy on Friday, March 22.

The Church also immediately organized the necessary pastoral assistance for the suffering and their families.

Armed men stormed the packed Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow on Friday night and opened fire, then set the building ablaze. More than 130 have died so far, with more than 100 injured. Russian officials report that 11 men, all foreign nationals, have been detained in connection with the terrorist attack.

Condolences have poured in from around the world, including from the Orthodox hierarchs of Sister Churches. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russian expressed his condolences on the night of the attack, saying: “This crime is striking in its cynicism and cruelty. I express my sincere condolences to you and my heart grieves with you… Don’t lose your faith, maintain courage, strength of spirit, and fervently pray to the Lord, Who is always near to the suffering and sorrowing.”

“The Church’s first reaction should be prayer,” the Patriarch said during a memorial service on Saturday night.

The Russian Church’s Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service is providing pastoral assistance to the victims and the families of those who killed, including through the Church’s social help hotline. Synodal head Bishop Panteleimon of Verey, priests, and sisters of mercy are also visiting victims in the hospital.

On the evening of March 22, the Odintsovo Diocese established an operational headquarters for providing assistance, with clergy on duty at the HQ, the office, and the assistance center of the Moscow Province. Churches throughout the diocese served molebens with the canon to the Most Holy Theotokos, and prayers were offered for the victims during and after the Divine Liturgy.

In the first minutes after the attack on Friday evening, about 60 people took refuge in the Odintsovo Diocese’s St. Nicholas Cathedral, which is just 1,000 feet from Crocus City Hall.

And on Sunday, with the blessing of Pat. Kirill, prayers were offered during the Divine Liturgy for the health of “all victims of the terrorist act in Krasnogorsk,” and a memorial litiya was offered “for the servants of God innocently killed in the terrorist act in Krasnogorsk,” in all churches and monasteries throughout the country.

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