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On November 7, 2020, the XIV International Festival ‘Russian Diaspora’ opened in online format in the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of Russia Abroad. The participants and guests of the film festival was addressed through a video-message of greeting by the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. His message reads:

 Ladies and Gentlemen, dear brothers and sisters,

I cordially greet the participants and guests of the XIV International Film Festival “Russia Abroad”.

We remember the centenary of the tragic Russian exodus from the Crimea, which became one of the gravest pages in Russian history. The deep division went through the whole Russian society and ruined the lives of millions of people.

Forced exiles lost the living link with their families and friends who remained in the Motherland. At the same time, in emigration the faithful sons and daughters of Russia sought to preserve the common faith, culture and the love of their native land. It helped to reach the future spiritual reunification. Among the most important landmarks on the path towards church unity was the restoration of the canonical communion between the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russin, the Archdiocese of Western European Parishes of Russian Tradition and the Moscow Patriarchate.

Today, by God’s mercy, the sorrowful divisions of the 20th century have remained only on the yellow pages of historical documents. But we should learn the lessons of the past and exclude tragic mistakes in the future.

I wish to organizers, participants and guests of the film festival bless creative successes and God’s help in their work.

+ Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate