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MOSCOW, February 22, 1:33 /ITAR-TASS/ - Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I has issued an appeal to the people of Ukraine, asking each and every Ukrainian regardless of faith, ethnic background and political affiliations to summon courage and refrain from a further fanning of the civil conflict.
“Reports on the numerous victims in that holy land (the Russian Orthodox Church treasures Kiev as the cradle of the Orthodox Christian tradition in the historic Russia - Itar-Tass), on the hundreds of wounded, and on disturbances in different regions of the country are saddening the heart,” the Patriarch’s appeal said.
“Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine are going through one of the most dramatic moments of their history,” Kirill I said adding that the scenario of a civil may still turn into a reality.
He warned that a civil war might begin in case of people’s departure from the commandments of morality given by the Lord, from Ukraine’s Christian heritage, from respect for one another, and from law.
Kirill I thanked the Orthodox clergymen who displayed their courage and moral strength and called on the opposing sides for peace and who firmly defended the Ukrainians’ right to live in conformity with their creed and to stay committed to the traditional moral and religious values.
He said he was watching the developments in Kiev “with alarm, pain and grief”. “This city, which I visited so often, and which I know and love so much, is especially dear for me,” Kirill I said.
“Kiev is the birthplace of the great Orthodox civilization that united the peoples of the Holy Rus,” he said. “Our multinational Church is praying for peace in the land of Ukraine and for the prevention of a major civil discord,” Kirill I said.