PATRIARCH ALEXIS II URGES BELIEVERS TO UNIFY IN THE FACE OF TERRORISM

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MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Unification will help counter terrorism, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexis II told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday.

"Unification, and not confrontation between believers will help counteract terrorism," said Alexis II.

"Terrorists want to infuse fear and disintegration, to deprive us of confidence in tomorrow and calm," noted the patriarch.

"This is why we should unite in the face of attempts to separate us and arouse fear in us," said Alexis II.

Another important problem in modern Russia, according to the patriarch, is the demographic situation in the country.

Family promotion will help increase birth rate in Russia, said the patriarch.

"The church as a whole is worried about the demographic situation," said Alexis II.

"We link the conference due on October 18 not only to demographic issues but also to the family promotion, the problem of abortions and other problems influencing the decrease of the Russian population," said the patriarch. "Family promotion can help solve this issue," the patriarch is convinced.

The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church also told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that the commissions for convergence of the Russian Orthodox Church and of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia would meet for a session in November. He added that this session would mainly focus on the prospects and possible timeframe of the two churches' reunification.

"The commissions for convergence will meet in November. We'll see how it goes," said the patriarch.

He added that the Bishops' Council held on October 3-8, 2004 had delegated the final decision on the reunification of the churches to the Holy Synod. "This means that if all issues are solved, we will wait for the next Bishops' Council to adopt a canonical decision on the reunification," the patriarch explained.

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