06:14 GMT +322 June 2018
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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 2 (RIA Novosti correspondent Olga Lipich) - Moscow will host an 8th World Russian Popular Council, February 3-4. Unlike previous councils, it will gather hierarchs from the entire Eastern Christendom, said Cyril Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations.

    "Spokesmen of the entire Eastern Christendom-of all Local Orthodox Churches and the Russian Church in Exile-will, for a first-ever time, attend a World Russian Popular Council," he said to a news conference on the forthcoming event.

    The council will be dedicated to "Russia and Eastern Christendom".

    "To see to what an extent Russia can rely on its own cultural traditions as it is integrating into the world in the globalisation context is the council's main duty," said Metropolitan Cyril.

    For many years, this country "was appearing on the international arena as one who had severed all links with the Orthodox Christian tradition. That stance thoroughly changed Russia's contacts with countries who were clinging to that tradition." "The Eighth World Russian Popular Council will open at the Holy Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius [in the Moscow environs], heart of Russian Orthodoxy-that to highlight our links with the past," the Metropolitan emphatically added.

    To be presided by His Beatitude Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, the council will bring together more than 500 delegates-statesmen of all levels, Russian regional governors, governmental spokesmen of all other CIS countries, big businessmen, the cream of scholarly and artistic circles, and leaders of many public organisations.

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