Christmas Greetings of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov

7 January 2019, Monday

Dear Orthodox citizens!

From the bottom of my heart I congratulate you on the bright holiday of Christmas.

Today the souls of believers are again filled with the unfading light of the Star of Bethlehem, which announced the coming of the Savior more than 2,000 years ago.

Christmas is a holiday of all-conquering love, unflagging faith in goodness and justice, uniting people of different ethnicities, social groups and ages. It gives believers hope of eternal life, revealing the innermost secrets of the universe, based on the unshakable principles of universal harmony and spiritual perfection. At the same time, it is also a family holiday filled with children's smiles and good magic.

In Tatarstan, where Christians, Muslims, Jews and representatives of other religions live in harmony and understanding, Orthodox Christianity traditionally plays an important spiritual, moral and social role. The new year, as well as the outgoing one, will be rich in significant events in Orthodox life. In particular, the reconstruction of the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God is almost finished, church celebrations dedicated to the 440th anniversary of the appearance of the wonder-working image of the mother of God in Kazan will be held everywhere.

I sincerely hope that during the current challenging times for the entire Orthodox world, a cathedral Christmas prayer addressed to Jesus Christ and the Mother of God will strengthen believers even more in pursuit of peace, unity and prudence.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, good mood, happiness, health, kindness and well-being!

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