MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Orthodox Christians and all citizens on Christmas, the Kremlin press service said on Wednesday.
It is a blessed and joyful holiday for millions of people, that brings back to the origins of spiritual traditions and ideals of love and mercy and for centuries has united people and helped withstand hardships, the president said in the congratulation.
The president noted the great role of the Russian Orthodox Church in establishing high moral values, bringing up young generations and preserving the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.
The Russian leader wished all citizens peace, happiness and well-being.
In his congratulation to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the president said the Russian Orthodox Church was an example of sincere service for people and care for education and spiritual health of people and noted its important social and charity mission.
"Traditions to widely celebrate Christmas in the country have deep historical roots and are carefully handed down from generation to generation. They bring us to enduring Christian values that for many centuries have united people to carry out vitally important tasks," the president said.
Putin attended a Christmas service overnight in a church in the village of Otradnoye located in the Voronezh region.