13 August 2008, 18:15
Moscow, August 13, Interfax - This Wednesday many Russian churches are praying for repose of the people killed in course of military operations in South Ossetia and Georgia.
"Today Russian Orthodox churches have uplifted prayers for the victims as on all the previous days. Eternal memory and repose to warriors-peacemakers, to all peaceful citizens who perished in the area of conflict," deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told Interfax-Religion.
He laments that "in the beginning of the 21st century peoples, who in spite of all contradictions lived in relative peace, suddenly were divided by mass armed struggle." "Thank God, major war actions are stopped today and there's a new hope for reconciliation," the priest noted.
"This war violently divided two nations, but most important today is not to return to total violence and observe rules of cease-fire. The one who will resume scaled operations, will take the heaviest responsibility before God and history," Fr. Vsevolod stressed.
He hopes Orthodox peoples - Georgians, Ossetian, Russian and others - "will do everything to give each other a hand of fraternity," and "they will never be enemies."
Fr. Vsevolod notes that today "the majority of people, at least in Russia, feel compassion rather than malicious joy and hostility." Churches and monasteries of the Stavropol diocese receive refugees, thousands of people make up humanitarian parcels for South Ossetia.
"Today we discuss with Christians of Europe and the whole world a possibility to extend major humanitarian help to the affected regions of the conflict area including the Georgian districts that don't relate to South Ossetia. There are certain signs that Christians of many countries will answer this appeal," the Russian Church representative said.
Russian mosques and synagogues also pray for the victims of the armed conflict today.
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