The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has called on Christians to have an optimistic view of life in the New Year.
"People usually congratulate each other on the New Year, wish new happiness. This simple human wish expresses the hope that next year will certainly be better, that it will have more joy, peace and happiness," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in downtown Moscow.
"A Christian should have an optimistic view of life," Kirill said, adding that the roots of Christian optimism are in the hope for God's good will and urging believers to pray for their country, nation and their kindred.
"Today, on New Year's eve, while turning our prayer to God, we will strongly ask him to give us his mercy and hear our prayers," the patriarch said after a divine service that some 1,000 people attended.
MOSCOW, December 31 (RIA Novosti)