While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader — this one directly addressed to the U.S. president — was missed.

On September 10, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill issued a letter addressed to “His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President, United States.”  Whether one wishes to interpret the letter as a product of politics or sincerity, it accurately highlights the plight of Syria’s Christians, especially in the context of a larger civilizational struggle.

I repost major portions of the letter below, interspersed with my observations for added context:

Your Excellency, Dear Mr. President,

The tragic events in Syria have raised anxiety and caused pain in the Russian Orthodox Church. We receive information about the situation there not from the news reports but from living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.

This is an important point: the “news reports” evaluated by the Russian church are from “living evidence coming to us from religious figures, ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.”  The fact is, outside of America’s biased “mainstream media,” the evidence concerning what is going on in Syria — namely, that Islamic militants are committing human rights atrocities, including possibly the chemical attacks in question — is overwhelming.  Countless eyewitness testimonies, videos, pictures — all those things that rarely make it to the U.S. MSM — make this abundantly clear.

Ask the average Syrian about the current turmoil engulfing their land — and I have, as have numerous Russian Orthodox representatives affiliated with Syria’s ancient Christian community, as noted by the patriarch — and few have any illusions as to its nature: an authoritarian, but secular, Assad vs. radical Islamists and jihadis.

Naturally most Syrians choose Assad.

Only in America, and to a lesser extent Europe, is the myth of “freedom fighters” trying to “liberate” Syria still being peddled.

Patriarch Kirill:

Syria today has become an arena of the armed conflict. Engaged in it are foreign mercenaries and militants linked with international terrorist centres. The war has become an everyday golgotha for millions of civilians.

To be sure, one of the most obvious indicators that this is no “civil war” in the name of “liberty” is the fact that the majority, up to 95%, of those fighting Assad are not even Syrian, but rather al-Qaeda linked jihadis — from Chechnya to the Philippines — trying to form an Islamic emirate in Syria as they did in the 1980s-90s in Afghanistan. Back then, foreign jihadis like Saudi Osama bin Laden and Egyptian Ayman Zawahiri — again, also supported by the U.S. — traveled to Afghanistan, “liberated” it from the U.S.S.R, and then gave us 9/11 as “thanks” in return a decade later.

Here, for example, is a video of foreign militants in a conquered Syrian town singing praises in honor of Osama bin Laden: “They called me a terrorist and I said ‘that will be my honor,’ this is a divine call. … We defeated America … the Trade [Center] became a bunch of rubble. … Greetings from the Taliban and its leader mullah Omar. … Victory is ours, winning is ours, and Allah with all his strength is with us, the infidel masses have come together to defeat us but they will not defeat us.”