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To mark the feast of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent greetings to the heads of the foreign countries belonging to the Orthodox tradition. His Holiness congratulated President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, President of Greece Prokopios Pavlopoulos, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastaciades, President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, and President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić. The text of the message is given below.

Please accept my cordial greetings with the feast of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year.

On these radiant joyful days, millions of Christians are commemorating the event that changed the course of world history. The Divine Infant Jesus, born not in royal chambers, but in a squalid cave in Bethlehem, did what no earthly ruler is able to do – delivered people from the bondage of sin and showed to those who believed in Him the path to the true freedom.

Looking with hope into the future, I beseech the All-Generous Creator to bestow blessings and success upon those who minister to the suffering and take care of the neighbours, as well as those who strive to uphold in society the intransient Gospel ideals of peace, goodness and justice.

I wish to you and your fellow citizens strength, spiritual fortitude and God’s unceasing help in all your good endeavours.

With respect,