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MOSCOW, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Orthodox Church is preparing to give over 1.3 million U.S. dollars to residents of Syrian cities, spokesman of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry Vasily Rulinsky said.
In an interview with the Izvestiya newspaper, Rulinsky said: “The Antioch Church’s Department for External Church Relations and Development helps. Cloths, mattresses, foodstuffs and hygienic essentials are being given to those in need. Thus, our assistance will be very important.”
At the end of June Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged believers to help those who fall victims of the armed conflict in Syria.
Funding, which was collected by the Russian Orthodox Church eparchies, are being sent to the accounts of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry. Then the funding will be handed over to Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, as well as to Supreme Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun of Syria.
The Izvestiya writes that from last July over 5,000 people had died in Syria. For two years of the armed conflict at least 93,000 people were killed. The head of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said the Syrian conflict had caused $60-80 billion damage.