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TOKYO: March 16, 2011
Bishop Seraphim of Sendai Sends Thanks for Support Following the Japanese Catastrophe

“We are very grateful, Your Holiness, for the words spoken in response to the catastrophe which befell Eastern Japan,” wrote His Grace Bishop Seraphim of Sendai (Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church) in a letter of March 15, 2011, addressed to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, as reported by the Press Service of the Moscow Patriarchate.

His Grace went on to write: “the earthquake incurred an enormous, inexpressible blow to the east coast of Japan, which includes the territory of the Sendai Diocese.

“Despite the fact that aid is streaming in from all parts of the country, a full picture of this event is still unclear, for roads and communications infrastructure have been destroyed,” wrote the archpastor.

“Through God’s mercy, the church in Sendai did not suffer much damage, and life in the city is gradually returning,” wrote Bishop Seraphim. “But churches on the coast of the Pacific Ocean have been destroyed, and we have no contact with their parishioners. We are beginning to receive information on our faithful: we believe the number of casualties will be significant.

“Those of us who survived, both clergymen and laity, firmly intend to fulfill our duty to the best of our abilities,” assured the Sendai hierarch, and asked His Holiness for his prayerful support.

The Diocese of Sendai and Eastern Japan embraces the areas of Hokkaido Island and the northern part of Honshu Island, and was established on April 10, 1970, as a separate diocese of the Japanese Autonomous Orthodox Church. The territories of the Sendai Diocese suffered the greatest damage from the earthquake and tsunami, which struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

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