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Russian Church concerned with Christianophobia

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/05/31/51064719.html Russian Church concerned with Christianophobia Smirnova Viktoria, Milena Faustova May 31, 2011 14:07 Moscow
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      Russian Church concerned with Christianophobia
      Smirnova Viktoria, Milena Faustova

      May 31, 2011 14:07 Moscow Time

      The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned with the growing number of
      cases of persecution against Christians in the world. It calls on the
      world community to defend the rights of Christians.

      This was the main topic discussed at the meeting of the Russian Orthodox
      Church’s supreme body, the Holy Synod, which took place on May 30th in
      St. Petersburg. The meeting was chaired by the head of the Russian
      Church Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

      In an interview with the Voice of Russia, a spokesman for the Russian
      Patriarch’s office Vladimir Legoyda said:

      “The Synod listened to a report by the Chairman of the Church’s
      Department for Public Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.
      The metropolitan was very concerned with the growing anti-Christian
      sentiments in the world. The meeting adopted a resolution which said
      that the Russian Orthodox Church has always condemned any manifestations
      of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other religious hatred.”

      One of the latest examples of activation of anti-Christian moods is the
      unrest in the Egyptian city of Giza, where several Christian churches
      were set on fire and several Christians of the Coptic rite were killed.

      “Unfortunately, the number of similar incidents is growing,” said
      Vladimir Legoyda. “I think this is hardly incidental. One can speak of a
      growing trend for anti-Christian moods in several countries.”

      Christians may be discriminated against in diverse ways. In countries
      where Christians are a minority, their freedom is sometimes limited by
      bans on church services, on building new churches or inability to get
      theological education. In some countries, being a Christian means facing
      a risk of severe persecution and even a death penalty.

      However, even in some countries where Christianity is a traditional
      religion, Christians may face discrimination, sometimes under most
      absurd pretexts. One of the examples is the recent demand of the Italian
      government not to expose crucifixes and other Christian symbols in
      schools. And this happens in Italy, where 98% of the population position
      themselves as Christians!

      The resolution adopted by the Russian Synod calls on all the people of
      common sense to condemn such cases of persecution. The Russian Church
      believes that to stop religious discrimination, a dialogue of
      governments and of religious and public organizations is needed.

      “Russia can serve as an example of religious tolerance,” Vladimir
      Legoyda said. “In Russia and other countries which are under the
      jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, diverse denominations have been
      coexisting quite peacefully for many years. We are ready to share our
      experience of tolerance with all who want to build a free and just society.”

      The Russian Church believes that to defend the rights of Christians, a
      better legal base is needed. Secular authorities must respect people’s
      right to confess any religion and protect the security of religious
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