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    RUSSIAN DELEGATION ARRIVES IN ISRAEL FOR EASTER CELEBRATIONS

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    TEL AVIV, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - A large Russian delegation has arrived in Israel for Easter celebrations. It is led by Vladimir Yakunin, Chair of the Trustees Board of the Foundation of Andrew the First Called, and includes, among other Russian Orthodox Church officials, Bishop Alexander of Dmitrov, Vicar to the Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia. There are also a few pilgrims travelling with the delegation, such as Valery Bogomolov, Secretary General of the United Russia party; Lyubov Sliska, Vice Speaker of the State Duma, or parliament's lower house; and Svetlana Orlova, her counterpart in the upper chamber, the Federation Council.

    The Russian delegation will visit Patriarch Eirinaios of Jerusalem and the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. It will also make pilgrimage to Christian shrines and join in the pan-Orthodox Prayer for Peace in the Holy City. "We are sure that to millions of faithful, participation in the Prayer... will be a way to express their kindliness and willingness to help," Yakunin said.

    On Easter Eve, the delegation will attend the ceremony known as the Miracle of Holy Fire in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site that church tradition holds to be Christ's burial place. The miraculous flame, a symbol of Christ's resurrection, will be taken to Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior for the Easter Virgil.

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