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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Russian Orthodox Church calls on U.S. Christians to work together to achieve peace in Ukraine, Middle East

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Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, has called on American Christians to work together to take joint peacemaking efforts and protect morals.

"We must work together to resolve today's conflicts also for the reconciliation of the Ukrainian people and the prevention of the bloodshed in the south-east of the country from escalating," the metropolitan was quoted as saying by the press service for the Department for External Church Relations at the Russia-USA forum of Christian leaders held in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.


The metropolitan also said the Russian church is ready to work with American Christians to provide help to refugees from Ukraine and rebuild the cities and villages of eastern Ukraine destroyed by the war.


"The whole of Christendom needs to urgently join the task of giving aid to the refugees who have found themselves today in the Iraqi mountains or in the Syrian Desert, and who have found themselves to be on the brink of starvation, almost without food, water and medicines," the metropolitan said.


The metropolitan said another important task is to work out a set of measures to maintain a Christian presence in the Middle East.


"Unfortunately, by the end of the 20th century, the relationship of the Moscow Patriarchate with many Christian communities in the USA had encountered a serious crisis. It was caused by the liberalization of the moral teaching in these communities, their deviation from the ethical norms laid down by Holy Scripture of the New Testament common for us all. Thus, in 2003 the Russian Orthodox Church had to suspend contacts with the Episcopal Church in the USA due to the fact that it consecrated an open homosexual as a bishop," Metropolitan Hilarion said in his speech.


"At the same time, the Russian Orthodox Church has remained open to contacts with the North American confessions which have stayed faithful to the traditions of our dialogue and which are firmly committed to biblical morality, in particular, with the Anglican Church of North America, as it has separated itself from the Episcopal Church because of the above-mentioned incident," he said.

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