The head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, said Monday that the end of the world is approaching, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reports.
Following a service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow, Kirill told congregants that the coming apocalypse "is already visible to the naked eye.”
According to Kirill, society can unite to prevent the world from slipping into “the abyss of the end of history."
"Today is not the time to rock the boat of human passions,” the Patriarch said. “Today is the time to rally all healthy forces."
"That's why the church, art, culture, our writers, scientists — all those people who love the Motherland — should come together because we are entering a critical period in human civilization.”
The Patriarch made the speech on his 71st birthday. To mark the occasion, the Patriarch was gifted a replica hat worn by Saint Tikhon, who headed the Russian church a century ago, the Interfax news agency reports.
Correction: Due to a translation error, an earlier version of this story misstated the gift Patriarch Krill received. He was gifted a hat, not a puppet.