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NEW YORK: August 25, 2008
To the President of the Congress of Russian Americans, Mr. Georgii Borisovich Avisov

Respected Georgii Borisovich!

In connection with the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Congress of Russian Americans, I wish to thank and congratulate you, both personally and on behalf of the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia entrusted to me, on the occasion of this remarkable jubilee.  Over the course of the past thirty-five years, the Congress of Russian Americans has carried on its tireless activity for the preservation of Russian culture, the defense of the civil rights of Russian Americans, and opposition to the Russophobia widely disseminated throughout the Western world, as well as serving as a bridge toward amicable relations between Russians and Americans. 

It is noteworthy that the principal office of the Congress is located in the city where rest the precious remains of the hHoly Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the enlightener of the Russian Diaspora, who in his time labored greatly for the preservation of Russian spirituality and Russian culture in this country. 

Yet you must not rest at thirty-five years!  Much work lies ahead, and many more difficulties and temptations are in store for you.  My prayer is that the Lord God will help you, strengthening and inspiring you for this difficult task. 

Many years to you and all the members of the Congress! 

I invoke upon you the blessing of God, 

+Hilarion,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia