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On March 21, 2018, the Orthodox Nations Foundation opened its 24th International Conference in Kaluga under the theme ‘Equality and Justice as Basis for Stability in the World’.

Introductory remarks were made by the foundation’s president, Prof. V. Alekseyev.

Welcoming the participants in the forum, Metropolitan Clement of Kaluga and Borovsk conveyed them a blessing from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. He reminded the gathering that it is Christian values that lie in the basis of culture in Russia, just as in most European countries and many other world powers. It is a powerful potential for rapprochement and mutual understanding in international relations. ‘The Church suggests that the Gospel’s values, the responsibility for one’s moral choice and desire to live in the love of God should be returned to people, to society and to the whole system of education’, he said.

Mr. S. Gavrilov, chairman of the State Duma committee for developing the civic society and for public and religious associations, brought a message of greetings from the State Duma.

Mr. I. Mozgo, deputy head of the department for relations with the Russian Federation constituent members, addressed the conference on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Among the speakers was also the governor of the Kaluga region, A. Artamonov.

Messages of greetings were received from Primates of Local Orthodox Churches, including Pope and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria, Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya II of All Georgia, Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia, Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria, Metropolitan Sava of Warsaw and All Poland, and Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

In his message, Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria congratulated the foundation on the opening of its annual conference, the more so that it is held on such an important topic as establishment of equality and justice, so that the peoples of the world could co-exist in the world and protect the world’s safety and welfare of the nations. ‘You Foundation’, he writes, ‘is making a very important contribution to the cooperation of Orthodox nations and consolidation of the visible unity between Orthodox Churches. I personally and the Patriarchate of Constantinople work hard day and night to achieve peace and security throughout the world by taking part in the cooperation of all the Orthodox with all Christians and believing nations, so that equality and justice may prevail in relations among peoples and nations’.

Writing about the tragedy that took place in Kizlyar in February, Patriarch Theodoros expressed support and sympathy to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and to Russian President Putin, as well as to the devout Russian people.

‘At the same time’, he writes, ‘we are also praying for the establishment of peace in Ukraine, Syria and Palestine, where our brothers are subjected to persecution today, because among the peoples they live with in these countries there is still no respect for equality and justice’. He also mentioned the important initiatives made by Patriarch Kirill to help release those who became captives as a result of the bloody conflicts in Ukraine.

His Beatitude also expressed gratitude to Patriarch Kirill for the love and support that the Russian Church gives to the Patriarchate of Alexandria’s missionary service.

‘The fact that there are outstanding representatives from almost thirty countries participating in the conference is an important step that points to the selfless service of the Orthodox throughout the world for the cause of strengthening the safety and peaceful co-existence of the world nations’, Patriarch Theodoros II wrote.

During the solemn opening of the conference, messages of greetings were brought from the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of Orthodox Nations, a number of speakers of parliaments in the conference’s member churches, as well as heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and leaders of international structures.

Prof. V. Alekseyev made a key report on the main theme of the conference.

The forum is attended by representatives from over twenty countries, including parliament members, government officials, Orthodox hierarchy and clergy, political and public leaders, scholars, and journalists.

The 24th International Conference on Equality and Justice as a Basis of Stability in the World – Christian Perspective, will complete its work on March 24.

DECR Communication Service

With reference to the sites of the Unity of Orthodox Nations Foundation and the diocese of Kaluga