The head of the Russia’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill on Friday said that Vladimir Putin’s reign over Russia had been mandated by God, passing greetings to the Kremlin chief on his 70th birthday.
The patriarch, while joining a chorus of Russian officials congratulating Putin, said that, “God put you in power so that you could perform a special service of special significance and of great responsibility for the fate of the country as well as the people entrusted to your care.”
The patriarch has praised President Putin for “transforming the image of Russia, empowering its sovereignty & its defence capability, protecting nation’s interests.”
Kirill expressed that “health and a long life” to the Russian president who has been in power for more than 20 years.
He also called on worshippers across the nation to pray for Putin’s health.
Moreover, the patriarch added that, “You gained the respect of a national leader selflessly devoted to the Fatherland, sincerely loving the Motherland as well as giving all its strength to it.”
Kirill also wished him “unrelenting strength & God’s abundant assistance.”
At the same time, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church since 2009, Kirill has been a vocal supporter of the Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Moreover, he has close ties with Putin’s government, backing conservative values over Western liberalism.