On the occasion of All-Russian Sobriety Day, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia called on believers to always pay attention and provide support to those whom God sends into their lives, especially those who suffer from alcoholism. The Patriarch's message was disseminated by the Synodal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate for Church-Society Relations and the Media.
September 11 marks the Beheading of John the Baptist in the Russian Orthodox Church. Due to the events surrounding the death of the prophet, who was beheaded by King Herod during a drunken feast, the Church also observes Sobriety Day on this date.
"The experience of the Church's work with those who are addicted shows that when such people come to the church with their troubles and find there a kind and sensitive attitude, they acquire the desire and strength to combat their passion. Therefore, I urge all of you, dear brothers and sisters, to pay attention and provide support to those whom the Lord sends into our lives, especially those who suffer from alcoholism or other ailments," Patriarch Kirill's message states.
September 11 is Sobriety Day in Russia. This holiday was first established by the Holy Governing Synod in 1913, with a resolution in 1914 to observe it annually. In Russia, on this day, wine shops were closed, and the sale of alcoholic beverages was suspended. During the Soviet era, the tradition of observing Sobriety Day was interrupted, but in 2014, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church reinstated the tradition of celebration. Since 2015, Sobriety Day has been held with the support of the Russian Ministry of Health.