On October 11th, 2023, with the blessing of the Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop Matthew, the Vice-Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, Priest Mark Rashkov attended the Multi-Faith reception at Gracie Mansion in NYC by the invitation of Mayor Eric Adams.
The Multi-Faith Reception is an annual event hosted by the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships (OFCP) of NYC and the Mayors Office. Every year, religious leaders of NYC are thanked and honored for their work, leadership, and service for the benefit of the residents of NYC. This year, speaking about the recent tragic events taking place all over the world including Israel, the Mayor’s address was themed around the words “it’s time to pray” highlighting the need for all of us to pray and to have faith especially during these dark times.
Mayor Adams emphasized the importance of never feeling out of place for having faith or hiding our faith. Faith leaders gathered with the Mayor to show their support for the people of Israel while highlighting the importance of sympathy, empathy and tolerance for Palestinians in Gaza. The Mayor asked everyone to pray for all the people affected by the conflict in Israel and Palestine stating that the attacks in Israel were fueled by “hatred and demonism,” not religion. The Mayor also called on all faith leaders to be unified against hate.
As a reminder, on October 7th, 2023, The Department of External Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church communicated that “it is with a sense of sorrow that His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill is receiving news from Israel and Palestine,” and that he is “praying for the quick cessation of the fighting and for the healing of those who have suffered”. The Russian Orthodox Church unceasingly calls for a peace and mutual understanding between people.