On 21 January 2012, in the Hall of Church Councils of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia officiated at the ceremony of awarding the prize ‘For the Outstanding Activity in Strengthening Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations and for Consolidation and Promotion of Christian Values in the “Life of Society” named after His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II.

The prizes of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN) are awarded annually to the heads of states, governments and parliaments, Primates of the Orthodox Churches, and major public figures for their contribution to the strengthening of economic and political ties among the states formed in the context of Eastern Christian tradition and for the consolidation of noble standards of Christian morals in the life of Orthodox community.

The IFUOCN-2011 prize-winners are His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority; and Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.

The Primate of the Russian Church welcomed the prize-winners and the guests and, together with Prof. Alexeyev presented diplomas and badges to the prize-winners-2011.

Novak Djokovic, who could not attend the ceremony, said in his video address that an international award given to him in Russia is great privilege to him. “The Russian Orthodox Church gives a worthy example to the entire Orthodox world. There had been hard times in her history, she was persecuted, but no one managed to break it. At present it flourishes. This is an example for us, the Serbs, and we cherish hope that hard time for us will soon be over,” he said. He thanked His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and the IFUOCN on behalf of himself and the Serbian people for high award.

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