By Milena Faustova
Patriarch Kirill has called Easter a day of great hopes meant to help people to overcome life’s numerous hardships. On Easter Sunday, which is the 15th of April for Orthodox Christians, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church congratulated Russian Christians.
“I greet you all, my dear brothers and sisters, Christ is risen! This greeting which has come down to us from the days of the Apostles contains divine truth and confirmation of a historical fact. Indeed, after two thousand years no one has the right to say that this greeting is irrelevant. It is alive and as meaningful as ever. This greeting alone is a manifestation of God’s power and divine truth.”
Announcer: This year’s celebration of Easter is not taking place at the best time for the Russian Orthodox Church. The anti-religious campaign launched last month against the Moscow Patriarchate and personally against Patriarch Kirill has entailed numerous scandalous publications in various Russian and foreign media. The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has expressed confidence that the temptations which happened during Lent and the Holy Week would fortify the faith of those for whom Christ’s death on the cross is not just empty words.
“If Christ suffered when there was no sin on him, we should remember our Saviour when we face human unfairness, slander, spite and lies. Everyone is a sinner, everyone makes mistakes, so people should accept their personal grief as a punishment for wrongdoing. The Lord, who had not done anything wrong and had not said a single word of a lie, suffered people’s abuse and then death for nothing. If the Lord went the way of the cross we should follow Him and remember that Resurrection is at the end of this road. Christ is risen indeed and His Resurrection is a victory over all human lies.”
Announcer: Patriarch Kirill is convinced that every religious person should remember that Christ defeated evil. This means that each of us can defeat life’s injustice with the strength of our faith and the zeal of our prayer. In this way we can cope with sorrow, slander and unforeseen hardships. This will give strength to become firm in our faith and to overcome anti-clerical doubts.
“I would like to share the joy of this day and the joy of Christian hope with you. Let this hope give you strength to go your way in life with the radiant image of Christ ahead of you. Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!” the Patriarch said in conclusion.