Patriarch Kirill pays tribute to Vladimir Putin on his birthday


“God has placed you in power”: Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill congratulated Vladimir Putin on Friday on his 70th birthday, marked by a shower of praise despite Russian international isolation and setbacks in Ukraine.

In his message, Kirill praised the Russian president for "transforming Russia's image, strengthening its sovereignty and defensive capabilities, defending national interests".

"God has placed you in power so that you can carry out a mission of particular importance and of great responsibility for the fate of the country and its people entrusted to you", assured the patriarch, 75 years old.

He also wished Vladimir Putin, in power for more than 22 years, "physical and moral strength for many years" and called for prayers for his health across Russia.

"You have acquired the reputation of a national leader, loyal to his Fatherland and who sincerely loves it and gives it all his strength", underlined Kirill.

“May your strength not be exhausted and may God's help for you be great,” he concluded.

Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox since 2009, put his Church at the service of the power of Vladimir Putin and had already described it in 2012 as a “miracle”.

Both men share ambitions for a conservative, dominating Russia, and the Russian religious leader backs the assault on Ukraine.

They agree in particular on the idea of ​​a moral decadence of a West in decline, in particular because of the tolerance with regard to LGBT. Just last week, Mr. Putin had denounced the advent of "satanism".

Other Russian officials were quick to congratulate the president on Friday.

Chechen Kadyrov posted a message on Telegram congratulating the “leader of a whole people” and “one of the most influential and outstanding personalities of contemporary times”.

Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin posted a cartoon portrait of the Russian president proclaiming "if there is Putin, there is Russia".

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / Free Wind 2014

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