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1_282014_ap3764991169718201_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

side by side: Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill I has echoed President Vladimir Putin's view that Western countries are engaging in a "spiritual disarmament" of their people. (Associated Press)

1_282014_ap3764991169718201.jpg

1_282014_ap3764991169718201.jpg

side by side: Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill I has echoed President Vladimir Putin's view that Western countries are engaging in a "spiritual disarmament" of their people. (Associated Press)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill visit an exhibition, "Orthodox Russia and the Romanovs," devoted to the 400-year anniversary of Russian Emperor family rule, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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Russia National Unity Day.JPEG-0bda1.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill visit an exhibition, "Orthodox Russia and the Romanovs," devoted to the 400-year anniversary of Russian Emperor family rule, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

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After Tuesday's service for Chernobyl disaster victims at St. Elias Cathedral near the nuclear power plant site in Ukraine, (from left) Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Vladimir and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ring bells in memory of the victims.

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Epiphany_3437

Orthodox priests conduct a service at the ice hole of the pound in the Kolomenskoe park on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged Tuesday and Wednesday into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark the upcoming Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19. Moscow temperatures on Wednesday night dropped to -14 C ( 7 F). (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

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Epiphany_3436

People gather around the bath of the ice cold water as taking the bath in the ice hole of the pound in the Kolomenskoe park on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, early Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, with the moon in the sky. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged Tuesday and Wednesday into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark the upcoming Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19. Moscow temperatures on Wednesday night dropped to -14 C ( 7 F). (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Epiphany_3435

Epiphany_3435

A man walks through the bath of the ice cold water in the ice hole of the pound in the Kolomenskoe park on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. Thousands of Russian Orthodox Church followers plunged Tuesday and Wednesday into icy rivers and ponds across the country to mark the upcoming Epiphany, cleansing themselves with water deemed holy for the day. Water that is blessed by a cleric on Epiphany is considered holy and pure until next year's celebration, and is believed to have special powers of protection and healing. The Russian Orthodox Church follows the old Julian calendar, according to which Epiphany falls on Jan. 19. Moscow temperatures on Wednesday night dropped to -14 C ( 7 F). (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

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ortho_980

The Rev. Gabriel Weller distributes incense from the altar at the beginning of service for Russian Orthodox Christmas at All Saints Of North America Russian Orthodox Church in Middlebrook, Va., on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/The Daily News Leader, Pat Jarrett