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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, congratulated the heads of the non-Orthodox Churches on the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ. The messages were sent to the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in All Africa and the Middle East; the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All the East; Pope Francis of Rome; the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Bechara Boutros al-Raï; the Greek Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem and All the East, Youssef I Absi; the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II; Patriarch Abune Mathias I of Ethiopia; the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II; the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Nourhan Manougian; the Catholicos of Cilicia, Aram I; Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby; the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Gewargis III Sliwa; the Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Ignatius Joseph III Yonan; Bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen of Copenhagen (Church of Denmark); the Primate-elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Bishop Tapio Luoma of Espoo; Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany; and to others.

The messages read:

During these saving days of Paschal rejoicing I send you my heartfelt greetings with the words that are forever alive and filled with the deepest of meaning:


The day of Christ’s Resurrection is “the foundation of the world, the beginning of reconciliation, the ceasing of enmity, the trampling down of death, the defeat of the devil” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily for Pascha). Our Lord Jesus Christ who “was dead, and, behold, is alive forevermore” (Rev 1:18) by his death and his Resurrection renewed fallen human nature and rendered it able to receive life everlasting, and through his great mercy has granted to us the hope to see the unapproachable Light in the kingdom of heaven.

May the great power of the spiritual joy in the risen Lord, which unites all Christians in hope, abide with us during these radiant days and throughout all the days of your lofty ministry, inspiring and fortifying people in deeds of love, righteousness and peace.

With love in the risen Christ,

/+ Hilarion/

Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate