His Holiness Kyrill
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Russian Orthodox Church

Geneva, 1 February 2010

Your Holiness,

On this festive occasion, the day on which the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the first anniversary of Your Patriarchal mission, it is my great honour as general secretary of the World Council of Churches to join Your people and Your many friends around the world in sending Your Holiness a cordial message of congratulations.

God’s grace and Your Holiness’ genuine commitment has made Your first year as Spiritual Head of the Russian Orthodox Church a blessed and fruitful period, a year of great achievements in all fields of life of the Russian Orthodox Church.

I am aware of, rejoice and wholeheartedly commend the tremendous pastoral, missionary and social work that Your Holiness has inspired, initiated and already achieved. I would like to highlight particularly Your Holiness’ strong emphasis given to inter-church and ecumenical relations, based on the excellent work and large experience that Your Holiness has in this field.

I would like also to take this opportunity to thank Your Holiness for the special attention paid to the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the life and activities of the World Council of Churches. New in my position as general secretary of the Council, I am grateful for Your words of encouragement and for Your brotherly support which you have kindly shared with me, both following my election and at the beginning of my mission in Geneva.

I am deeply convinced that the World Council of Churches and I as it’s general secretary can count on Your Holiness’ personal support, advice and prayers, as well as on the Russian Orthodox Church’s active participation in the activities of the Council and in it’s striving for Christian unity, for peace and reconciliation in the world and for a meaningful common Christian witness. 

Sincerely yours in Christ, our common Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches