Last week, the Synod of Russian Orthodox Bishops Abroad addressed Orthodox believers in an official epistle published in Russia. Metropolitan Vitaly, head of the White Church who resides in New York City, appealed for reconciliation between the White and Red churches and an end to property disputes in the Holy Land.

"It is precisely the Russian emigration which was able to save these churches from confiscation by foreign states and from destruction, carefully restoring them with its own means as Russia Abroad, which is open with all its heart both to the Russian past (tsarist Russia) and a Russia of the future," the bishop wrote. "Therefore, this is in actuality our joint heritage--the heritage of the whole Russian people, and without fail it will be such as a result of the restoration of the one Church of Russia, which stands in the truth."