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SAN FRANCISCO: March 19, 2011
Archbishop Kyrill's Appeal Concerning the Earthquake in Japan

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters of the Western American Diocese! 

A terrible disaster took part in Japan on the first week of Great Lent: earthquakes shook the country, then a tsunami roared ashore and, as a result of both, nuclear plants suffered serious damage which has not been contained. The whole world is following the news with fear and worry and what we see is truly frightening.

Our Western American Diocese has special bonds with Japan and the Japanese Orthodox Church: we are both Pacific Rim countries, St John (Maximovitch) visited and blessed Japan and many of our parishes have parishioners who grew up there.

1. I ask the clergy and flock of our Diocese to pray for the suffering people of Japan and to include the following two petitions at the Divine Liturgy:

“Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, visitation and pardon of sins for all the people of Japan who are in need and suffering due to the disasters that have taken place there.”

“O Lord, preserve the land of Japan and it’s people from quakes, floods, fire and every other tribulation and necessity, let us all say, quickly hearken and have mercy.”

2. I call upon all parishes and monasteries of the Western American Diocese to organize a collection for the needs of Japan’s Orthodox Christians and for the restoration of Orthodox churches which have suffered damage. According to reports we have received, a number of churches have suffered extensive damage and a few have been totally destroyed. The collected money should be sent to our diocesan chancellery no later than April 10, 2011. Individuals can also make donations via the diocesan PayPal account.

3. Japan’s natural disasters should remind us that we all walk under God and do not know where and when He will take us. During this period of Great Lent let us be sober, let us bring heartfelt repentance to God, let us be grateful for every day that has passed and is given to us and let us not take for granted our close ones, our churches and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6: 2).

KYRILL
Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America

Editor's note: Donations can also be made through the Fund for Assistance to the ROCOR at http://fundforassistance.org/news_110317_1.html