Russian Holy Synod members discuss the issue of rendering aid to refugees and suffering civilians in Ukraine 

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On March 24, 2022, the members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church heard a report by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the situation in Ukraine and the relief aid to refugees and suffering civilians.

On February 24, this year, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia issued an address to the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and all faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church, calling upon everyone “to offer a special, fervent prayer for the speedy restoration of peace” and “to provide all possible assistance to all victims, including refugees and people left homeless and without means of livelihood.” Later, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church approved the text of the prayer for the restoration of peace to be read out during divine services and at home, and on March 16, he urged all children of the Russian Orthodox Church to read daily the Supplicatory Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos and the aforementioned prayer.

Immediately after the conflict in Ukraine entered its present phase, the Church has been carrying out large-scale work in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees and those suffering civilians who remain in the conflict zone. With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, three Sundays in a row (March 6,13,20), donations were being collected in Russian churches and monasteries for the refugees and suffering civilians. Additional funds were raised by means of various payment instruments. Besides, the church humanitarian aid was delivered to the suffering civilians in Donbass, as well as to the Kharkov and Kherson regions. Warehouses in Moscow and the Moscow Region have been found to store the humanitarian aid that will be collected, starting from March 25.

The Holy Synod members resolved “to support the Patriarch’s appeal to all children of the Russian Orthodox Church for ardent prayer for the soonest restoration of peace and for the Supplicatory Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos to be read every day together with the prayer that had been approved earlier,” and “to invoke God’s blessing upon all those working to provide relief to the refugees and suffering civilians who remain in the conflict zone, as well as on those donating funds and necessities.”