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On March 17, 2019, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presented Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Serbia to Russia Slavenko Terzic with the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov (III degree) in recognition of his contribution to the development of relations between the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches.

The awarding ceremony took place at the Throne Hall of the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour. It was attended by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations (DECR); Bishop Anthony of Moravici, representative of the Patriarch of Serbia to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia; Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; and Archpriest Igor Ykimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations.

During the festive common meal, which took place on that day, H. E. Slavenko Terzic addressed His Holiness Kirill, saying, ‘Your Holiness, on behalf of all the ambassadors present here, I would like to thank you and, in your person, the Russian Orthodox Church for the help she has given through centuries to all the Local Orthodox Churches’. In particular, the diplomat said that in each old Orthodox church in the Balkans, including those in villages, one can see Russian vestments, vessels, and liturgical books.

The Serbian ambassador stressed that the Russian Church ‘to this day, continues to remain a support for the whole Orthodox world’. Mr. Terzic also thanked His Holiness for the efforts to protect and support the much-suffering land of Kosovo and Metohija.

Speaking about the Serbian-Russian relations, he cited St. Nicholas of Serbia (Velimirovic, 1880-1956), who wrote, ‘Our conscience makes us cry when the Russians cry and rejoice when the Russians rejoice’. ‘Our spiritual, cultural, political relations gathered strength through centuries and continue to strengthen today’, the Serbian ambassador said and wished Patriarch Kirill sound heath and spiritual strength for many years.

DECR Communication Service