Archbishop Chysostom II: 'Russia can help Christians in the Middle East'
I was very happy to accept the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to take part in the festivities marking the 1025th anniversary of Christianity in Russia, Patriarch Chrysostom II said.
“The fact that many primates and representatives of the Orthodox Churches worldwide took part in the festivities on the occasion confirms that the unity of the Orthodox Church is not called into question. Representatives of the Orthodox Churches worldwide visited Moscow, Kiev and Minsk. Their presence was regarded as a message to the whole world. We all made sure that the cities which we visited earlier had undergone radical changes – for the better, compared with the situation of the year 1988, when I took part in the festivities marking the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia”.
This year’s visiting Russia, Ukraine and Belarus by the primates of the Orthodox Churches worldwide was of great political significance. Meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, they raised one of the most urgent issues of today – the saving and protection of Christianity in the Middle East. We are pinning great hopes on Russia in this, Patriarch Chrysostom II stressed.
“Russia, a large and powerful country, has much to offer the world. Regrettably, the powers that be prefer to pursue their own interests, including their political and economic goals. They are not seeking justice. And in its policy, Russia, acting in cooperation with the Russian Orthodox people, should rely on such ideals and values as love and justice. And talking with President Putin, we asked him to offer help to the Middle East and to protect the local Christians. Should this be done, they will never have to leave their homes. If extremists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, come to power in the Muslim countries, neither the religious minorities nor the Christian presence will be in existence there. I am sure that Russia, which is a great power, could prove helpful in searching for fair solutions to the problems the modern world is faced with”.
Archbishop Chrysostom II of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus is sure that today all Orthodox states must do their utmost to resolve the Middle East issue and another one dealing with the protection of Christians all over the world. And ordinary Christians bear responsibility for that, Patriarch Chrysostom II says.
I was inspired by the number of believers who had attended the festivities in Moscow, Kiev and Minsk. Thousands of people took part in the liturgies and other events on the occasion. All that adds much to the strength of faith and to the unity of the Orthodox people all over the world, the Primate of the Church of Cyprus said in conclusion.