08/16/2010, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Russian Orthodox collect 200 tonnes in aid, raise 15 million rubles for wildfire victims

Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus, is satisfied with the level of aid. He is also pleased by the number of young people volunteering, putting their lives in peril.
Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Russian Orthodox Church has collected 200 tonnes in humanitarian aid and raised 15 million rubles for the victims of Russia’s raging wildfires.

Since the end of July, fires have raged in central Russia, smoke hovering over huge swathes of land. Early estimates put total damages at around US$ 15 billion.

“As regards to the aid organised by the Church, I am very satisfied with its amount. We collected about 200 tonnes of humanitarian supplies” and raised “15 million rubles,” Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus, said yesterday.

“"I am also very pleased with the work of volunteers. People came to the church's department that deals with aid; young people who just came in off the streets, and asked, "How can I help?” he added. “They collected humanitarian aid, loaded it into their vehicles, and then risked their lives because they had to drive in the smokiest areas.”

What is more, “I think that everything that has happened has helped all of us understand how important solidarity is, without which life is impossible in human society. If our people, especially our youth, are responding to the pain of those who are suffering today, that is a very good sign. May God grant us all” the power “to grow in unity and solidarity."

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