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Russian Railways Company CEO Yakunin calls for preserving cultural heritage of Mount Athos

June 24, 2013, 9:34 UTC+3

Patriarch of Serbia Irinei noted that “Athos is God’s gift to the whole Christian world”

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BELGRADE, June 24 (Itar-Tass) - It is necessary to create a standing international conference to preserve unique heritage of Mount Athos, the president of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, Russian Railways Company chief Vladimir Yakunin said in his message to delegates to the international conference “The Holy Mount Athos - the Unique Spiritual and Cultural Heritage of Humanity” the opened in Belgrade on Monday.

“The current meeting takes place at a special moment,” he said. “The year of 2013 is exclusively important for Serbia and for Europe and for that part of humanity, who belong to the Christian culture. We mark the 1700 anniversary of the Edict of Milan that granted equality to Christians in the Roman Empire.”

“Mount Athos is the example of unique co-existence of people of different nationalities,” he said in his message. “It is necessary to create a standing international conference of Athos with participation of all people, who are united by love to the Holy Mount.”

Patriarch of Serbia Irinei noted that “Athos is God’s gift to the whole Christian world.” “It is necessary to restore and preserve this holy place,” he said.

The chairperson of the Serbian Association of the Friends of Mount Athos, Mirjana Zivojinovic, also focused on the monastery’s restoration.

“The main thing is that we managed to restore Hilandar Monatery that suffered from a devastating fire eight years ago,” she said. “Not it is shining with beauty as before.”

Within the framework of the Belgrade forum researchers, public and religious leaders from Serbia, Germany, Italy and Russia will also discuss the ways to overcome blind alleys of globalism and secularization based on moral and spiritual resource of the modern Christian civilization. Special attention will be paid to ascesis and modern theology, main problems of Europe’s historical and cultural heritage through the example of Mount Athos.

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