Patriarch Kirill urged to continue countering genocide of Christians

© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator in photovacation of Moscow and all Russia Kirill. Archival photo<img src="/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/0de87aadd2bd6e2ce49883643c924115.jpg" alt="Patriarch Kirill urged to continue countering genocide of Christians" />© RIA Novosti / Sergey Pathiterator the image Bank

Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill said that the main result of his meeting with Pope Francis, which took place in February 2016 in Cuba was the world recognize the genocide of Christians that is the challenge for all of humanity.

«We should not evaluate our meeting only in the framework of bilateral relations of Russian Orthodoxy and Catholicism. The main theme of the meeting – a monstrous situation of Christians in the middle East and North Africa goes beyond the bilateral agenda. This is a global topic. Unthinkable in our time, in «civilized» twenty-first century, might occur what is happening is a true genocide of Christians. Our brethren are deprived not only of shelter, assets, means of livelihood, but life itself, just because I believe in Christ,» said Patriarch Kirill in an interview with the Turin newspaper La Stampa.

According to him, before the meeting in Havana this topic was almost invisible in the agenda of the world media, and the neglect of this problem was observed even in a number of international organizations.

«After the meeting, the situation is largely changed. I really hope that the recognition of the gravity of the problem, take steps to resolve it. Until, of course, changes happen as quickly as we would like — take the recent events in Egypt and Syria. But still I do not lose hope and pray for the alleviation of the plight of the persecuted. We will continue to raise their voice wherever possible, supporting our words with concrete assistance to persecuted Christians,» he said.

Patriarch Kirill reminded that regardless of denomination, Christians have been now facing an acute systemic challenge, and we are talking not only about direct violence.

«It ripened today long-standing problems in European civilization: the destruction of the family institution, the ideology of transhumanism – and much more. To be able together to actualize the Good News of Christ for our time – that is a task which is extremely complicated – but that is why it is extremely relevant. This was another important topic of the Havana meeting. Hope it will be continued exchange of experience, finding new points of interaction, discussion of forms of Christian witness in the new conditions», — he said.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church also drew attention to the fact that the division of Christians was largely due to the spiritual shift of emphasis from strict adherence to the gospel to try to install and fix the boundaries of earthly influence and power in the Church. «Accordingly, the improvement of relations between us must have as its basis not the destruction or silencing of the century differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and the unanimous desire of living the gospel in modern conditions», — he said.

«Our relationship with Pope Francis shows the willingness to work together to protect the future of the Christian communities in the modern world, to promote the establishment of lasting and just peace where blood is shed,» concluded Patriarch Kirill.

Historic meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis was held on 12 February 2016 the building of the international airport of Havana. A meeting of this level was the first in the history of Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

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