PUTIN HOPES ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY WILL STRENGTHEN RUSSIA
MOSCOW. Jan 6 (Interfax) - Acting President Vladimir Putin issued Christmas greetings on Thursday to Orthodox Russians, who celebrate the festival on January 7.
"Orthodoxy has traditionally played a special role in Russian history," Putin said in an address published by his press service.
"It has been not only a moral touchstone for every believer but also an unbending spiritual core of the entire people and state. Based on the idea of love for one's neighbor and on the commandments of good, mercy and justice, Orthodoxy has largely determined the character of Russian civilization. Its eternal truths, which have become the indisputable laws of life, have throughout the centuries supported people both in sorrow and in joy, returning hope to them and helping them acquire faith."
"The transcendental values of Christianity, formulated two millennia ago, have not lost their deep meaning to this day. It is my firm belief as we are entering the third millennium today that its ideals will make it possible to strengthen mutual understanding and consensus in our society and will contribute to the spiritual and moral rebirth of the Fatherland."