The Russian Orthodox Church has transferred to the Greek Orthodox Church’s account 517 629, 34 euros collected by the Russian Church with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in order to help feed Greeks who have lost their jobs and have been left without means of livelihood.
Greece continues to suffer from the severest crisis. According to the latest estimates of the Greek National Bureau of Statistics, the level of unemployment has reached 22,6%. This indicator is even higher among the youth under 24 – 50,8%. The austerity plan has forced the Greek Government to renounce its social liabilities and to close houses for the elderly, to reduce pensions and social benefits and to introduce new taxes.
In this situation, the Greek Church is carrying out a national campaign for raising funds and collecting foodstuffs for the needy. Each day, the Archdiocese of Athens distributes some 10 thousand food rations, worth of 0.95 euros each. While before the crisis, appeals for food came mostly from expatriates from Africa, Asia and the Middle East countries, now the proportion of the Greek natives among the hungry has reached 60%. These are mostly lonely retired people. Food aid has been organized in other dioceses of the Greek Church as well.
The Russian Orthodox Church began its fund-raising campaign in aid to the hungry in Greece on February 21, 2012. The work was coordinated by the Department for Charity and Social Service. At present the campaign is over. The funds raised have been converted to euro and transferred to the account of the Greek Church. A letter has been sent to the Greek Church saying that the funds are intended for the feeding of the poor, the website of the ROC Department for Charity and Social Service reports.