As widely reported in the media, at least 64 persons perished in a fire that engulfed the Winter Cherry Mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Authorities reported that 41 of the deceased were children who had been enjoying the first weekend of their spring break.  State media called the blaze “one of Russia’s deadliest in years.”

In response to the tragedy, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, sent a letter of condolence to His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the text of which appears below.  A PDF version.

Metropolitan Tikhon’s Letter of Condolence to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
Marking the March 25, 2018 Kemerovo Mall Fire

March 29, 2018

Your Holiness,

Dear brother and concelebrant in the Lord,

It is with sadness and grief that I write to Your Holiness to express my condolences for the recent loss of innocent life in Kemerovo.

On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, the clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America, I express to Your Holiness, the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives our love, sympathy and condolences.  May they find comfort and solace in Christ and His Holy Church.

It is our prayer as we prepare to welcome our Lord and Saviour into Jerusalem, and walk with Him on the path to the cross and glorious resurrection, that the souls of those who have departed this life so unexpectedly are today walking in the resplendent light of Christ’s triumph over sin, death and destruction.

Assuring you of my prayers for your ministry, I remain,

Your brother in Christ,

+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada