MOSCOW: January 1, 2008
President Vladimir V Putin Congratulates the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on his 80 th Birthday

His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrates his 80 th birthday on January 1.

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin sent a congratulatory message to His Eminence. The telegram states in part:

“I am truly happy to congratulate you, for you are a person who devoted his entire life to the noble work of the spiritual and moral guidance of the people, of preserving the Orthodox faith and the cultural traditions of the Fatherland among the emigres from Russia.

“Deserving of special thanks and recognition is your eminent role in the preparation of the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church and your signing of the Act of Canonical Communion together with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

“The key to the meaning of this historic event, in addition to all else, is the great impetus it gave to the worldwide advancement of the Russian world, and the unification of our compatriots who have lived in the diaspora for decades.”