Esteemed friends and colleagues, dear brothers and sisters!
In such a difficult period for our Native land, when anti-Russian hysteria that arises from some Western countries is so prevalent, it is very encouraging to see all of you here in Moscow.
Such a broad meeting of compatriots in the capital of Russia today, I think, could not have come at a better time. After all, right now, as the next round of growing international tension approaches, it is very important for us to see each other, to feel mutual support, to feel our age-old connection. We, who live in Russia, and you, who by the will of fate came to be outside its borders, as in previous periods of historical trials, must remember that we have a common Native land, and whatever happens, we will not leave each other in trouble.
We, Russian Old-believers, perhaps more acutely than many others over the past three centuries, have realised what it means to be outside our Native land, what life is like outside of Russia. During the difficult periods of our history, when Russian Old-believers were persecuted in their own state, we learned not only to survive beyond its borders, but also to preserve and carefully transfer our Tradition from generation to generation — the Tradition of the Orthodox Faith that we received from our fathers. This is our strength.
Our Faith, which gives us the opportunity to preserve integrity and unity for a whole millennium, is for us a truly inexhaustible source of strength and saves our Homeland in times of great trials. It is especially during such difficult periods that we feel the need for our unity, our Faith, our Tradition, the understanding that we are the Russian people – holy Rus’.
That is why today it is important, with regards to compatriots, not to forget that the main driving force of our Homeland is precisely the Russian people, who shouldered all the main problems that have befallen our people for more than a thousand years of the country’s history.
It’s time to stop being ashamed of the fact that we are Russian, that we are bearers of Russian culture and Tradition, not only within the borders of present-day Russia, but broader – within the framework of Russian Civilization, which includes not only Russians, but also many other nations. Anyone who considers the Russian language their own. Those who accept Russian culture, the Russian Orthodox faith and the Russian understanding of justice, humility, honour, duty, service and, what is also characteristic to Russians, self-sacrifice for the sake of higher, supra-materialistic ideals.
Without this civilizational code, without this particular distinction of belonging to the Russian World, it will be very difficult for us to recognise compatriots in the modern world of cosmopolitanism and confusion. And compatriots living in isolation from the Native land will find it difficult to remain Russian. For each of us to be Russian is our unity.
As we see, being part of the Russian World is at times not only an honour, but also a test. And even if we are far away from Russia, we all share common roots, we have a common Faith and a common history. We have a common Native land, which gives us strength, wherever we are, whatever tests we experience. It is always important to
remember that we are the Russian Orthodox people, we are part of the Russian World, and therefore, God is with us. Remember this to survive. Remember this to be saved!
With all my heart I welcome you to this important congress for all the Russian people and wish you fruitful work in the name of our common Great Homeland.
Thank you for your attention and God bless!