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Patriarch Kirill urges compatriots to cherish spiritual ties with homeland

"You can live wherever you want, but you cannot break spiritual and cultural ties with your people", Patriarch Kirill said
Patriarch Kirill Sergey Fadeichev/TASS
Patriarch Kirill
© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

PARIS, December 4. /TASS/. Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who is paying a visit to France has called on fellow countrymen abroad to preserve spiritual ties with their home country, the Russian language and culture.

"May all Russian Orthodox Christians who, while being abroad, consider themselves members of the Church and go to the church, have this example of old emigration in front of them and by no means allow their children to lose their language and culture," the patriarch said after an all-night vigil in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Three Hierarchs in Paris. "It’s your duty. You can live wherever you want, but you cannot break spiritual and cultural ties with your people. It is very dangerous for an individual’s integrity, for one’s cultural identity. So may God help you all to preserve your faith, Russian culture, the Russian language, visit churches and do good works Our Lord urged us to do."

"Keep the Orthodox faith in your hearts the way it was kept by the first generations of Russian emigrants," the patriarch went on to say. "They lived in poverty, had many woes but preserved their faith selflessly. Not just the faith, but also their culture and language. I am sometimes amazed by the fact that today’s young people coming abroad who have not learned the local language properly yet begin to speak Russian with an accept using foreign intonation. The old emigration spoke Russian wonderfully. They were indeed patriots who preserved love for their home country, the Church, the people and preserved wonderful Russian culture.".