(ENI) – Patriarch Alexei II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has appeared in a television commercial promoting Russia’s largest oil company, LUKoil. Officials at both the church and the oil company said it was a “natural” way to thank the company for its contribution to church restorations.
The 25-second advertisement showed the patriarch outside a church surrounded by LUKoil officials. The patriarch said: “We are grateful to LUKoil for its support of many Russian Orthodox Church projects aimed at restoring and reviving what was destroyed in the past.”
The TV commercial comes at a time when the Russian church is hard pressed to pay expenses.