International Orthodox Christian News

Moscow, December 19, Interfax - Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will conduct Christmas service in Antarctica. "On the Christmas Eve, the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will make a special tour to the Southern Pole," initiators of the expedition told Interfax-Religion on Friday. January 7, 2009, Metropolitan Hilarion together with Archbishop Ignaty of Petropavlovsk and Kamchatka will conduct the Christmas liturgy service in the Patriots' Hills (the central inland part of Antarctica).

This trip was blessed by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II and Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

A mobile Orthodox church is being put up for this purpose.
Members of the Russian Antarctic Expedition, specialists of Tsentrospas (central air-mobile rescue team) of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and the Agency on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring take part in the organization and execution of the mission.

"The participants are sure that this mission will foster further reunification of the two branches of the Russian Orthodox Church, reinforce the international standing of Russia and allow attracting the world community attention to spiritual values," a spokesperson told the agency. 

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