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    PATRIARCH ALEXIS II TO PRESENT PRIZES OF INTERNATIONAL FUND OF ORTHODOX PEOPLES' UNITY

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    MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - The ceremony of presentation of the prizes of the International Fund of the Orthodox Peoples' Unity (MFEPN) for 2003 will be held in the Hall of Church Councils of the Church of Christ the Savior on Wednesday. It will be headed by the chairman of the Trustees' Council of the Fund - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II.

    As RIA Novosti was told in the MFEPN press service, the list of the winners of the prizes includes Petros VII - Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, president of Greece Konstandinos Stephanopoulos, permanent secretary of the French Academy Helene Carrere d'Encausse, and the faculty of theology of Belgrade University.

    All the winners, except Constandinos Stephanopulos who did not arrive in Moscow in connection with the elections in Greece, will receive the awards For Outstanding Activity to Strengthen the Orthodox Peoples' Unity personally from the hands of Patriarch Alexis II.

    Every year the MFEPN awards five prizes (their money content ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 dollars).

    They are awarded to heads of states, governments and parliaments, the Primates of the Orthodox Churches, major representatives of the business world, and corporations, organizations and public movements, making a great contribution to the strengthening of spiritual, cultural, economic and political relations of the states of the East-Christian tradition, and also asserting the norms of Christian morality.

    Listed among the winners of the prizes of the International Fund of the Orthodox Peoples' Unity for 2000-2003 are Russian president Vladimir Putin, president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, president of Bulgaria, Georgi Purvanov, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, Diodoros I, Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, Patriarch of Antioch and the all East, Ignatius IV, and members of the governments of a number of states.

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