MOSCOW, January 21 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia gave the prize of the Fund for the Unity of the Orthodox Peoples at Christ the Saviour Cathedral on Saturday.
This year laureates have included Patriarch Feodor II of Alexandria and All Africa, “great Christian missionary”; Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, “a peace-maker, who contributes to inter-religious peace”; and famous Serbian tennis-player Novak Djokovic, “a generous charity provider, who helps restore sacred sites in Kosovo and Metojia”.
Speaking at a solemn ceremony, Patriarch Kirill stressed, “Today we have honoured people whose labour, ideas and deeds establish peace, contribute to inter-religious cooperation and strengthen Orthodoxy.”
“Often in the present-day world those who ignore their surrounding and strive for the career, egoistic and power passions, have become known. The prize that we have given today is designed to serve and scarify their neighbours,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said.
The prize of the Fund for the Unity of the Orthodox Peoples is named under Patriarch Alexy II, who initiated its creation. The prize is given at a solemn ceremony by chairman of the Fund’s Board of Trustees, Patriarch Kirill, and president of the Fund, professor Valery Alexeyev. By tradition, laureates sacrifice the prize or the part of it for charitable purposes.