Patriarch Kirill addresses the Serbian people with words of condolence and support
On May 21, 2014, during his meeting with the TV program “Word of a Pastor” team, which took place at the working Patriarchal residence in Chisty Lane in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia made a special address to the Serbian people in connection with the large-scale floods in this country, reports the Synodal Information Department.
“I would like to address our Serbian brothers as well as the Russian people with a special word in connection with the terrible cataclysm that befell the Serbian people and Serbia.
“A raging flood has swept dozens of human lives. Houses and roads are destroyed, people lost everything they possessed. This flood so much reminds us of the tragedy in Krymsk. I recall how our people responded on that tragedy, helping the residents to get out of trouble and heal their wounds.
“Today I would like to call upon everyone who can hear me to help our Serbian brothers. I inform that the representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, the Moscow Patriarchate in Moscow are already raising funds and organizing all possible aid in order to relieve the sufferings of the brotherly Serbian people.
“I would like to express my condolences to all those people who lost their relatives, to give you words of comfort and support. I feel certain that you, my dear brothers and sisters, will have enough strength to resist the water element and to restore peaceful conditions of life. We will pray for you and work together with you so that the consequences of this terrible disaster might be past as soon as possible.”
A state of emergency has been declared in the Serbian Republic because of the unprecedented floods in the country. Many settlements have been flooded, the number of victims is increasing, and thousands of residents have been evacuated.
The UN as well as 17 countries of the world have responded to the official call for help. Russia was one of the first to render humanitarian aid: 76 Russian rescuers were working in the flooded town of Obrenovac less than a day after the beginning of the natural calamity. Over two days the Russian Ministry for Extraordinary Situations evacuated more than 2,000 town residents with about 600 children among them.
Patriarch Irinej of Serbia called upon all believers to organize aid collections at churches for those who were affected by the floods. According to him, long months of restoration after destructions caused by the disaster await Serbia.
On May 17, the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Belgrade announced the collection of humanitarian aid to people from the flooded regions.
On May 19, the Russian school at the embassy of Russia in Serbia announced aid collection as well.
A special delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which includes staff members of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry, flew from Moscow to Serbia.