(ENS)-Marking a shift in attitude to one more sympathetic with Americans, Orthodox churches have offered special prayers for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist acts in the United States.
The change coincided with an increasingly pro-Western position by President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian Orthodox Church, which has historically been squeezed between Muslim and western Christian worlds, still treads carefully between what has been seen as two sides of a conflict of civilizations.
In October the chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate conducted a memorial service “for all those in the American land killed suddenly and senselessly.”
There was a similar service at St Catherine’s church, of the Orthodox church in America, which ministers to English-speaking Orthodox Christians in Moscow.
The services corresponded with the Orthodox tradition of commemorating the dead on the 40th day after death.