Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion answers questions from Kommersant…

Metropolitan Hilarion answers questions from Kommersant daily

In a talk to a correspondent of the daily, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations spoke, among other things, about the persecution of Christians in various regions of the world.

Q. Recently representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church have regularly made statements about signs of Christianophobia emerging in the Middle East. Is this problem a real threat?

A. Two weeks ago in Hungary I attended an international interreligious conference on Christian-Jewish-Muslim dialogue. I remember the remarks made by Massimo Introvigne, a well-known Italian sociologist and scholar of religion and OSCE representative. He cited statistics based on a thorough research into the problem, saying, ‘One Christian dies for the faith every five minutes in the world’. He also reported that annually 105 thousand Christians die a violent death during interreligious conflicts.

In October 2010, the European Union Commission of Bishops’ Conferences made a conclusion that ‘at least 75 percent of all acts of religious persecution in the world were directed at Christians. According to experts, annually about 170 thousand Christians suffer for their faith.

In addition, early this year the Open Doors human rights charitable organization, which has been engaged in monitoring the situation of Christians in the world since 1978, published its statistics showing that some 100 million Christians are subjected to persecution today in various countries. So, we have to acknowledge the obvious fact that Christians are the most persecuted religious community in the world. Some even compare this situation to the persecution that took place in the first three centuries of Christianity.

Q. Why have Christians proved to be vulnerable to persecution and what are its consequences?

A. Countries where Christians are a minority are lacking a really effective system of their protection. Events happening today in Egypt are only a part of a more global process affecting the life of Christians in a number of countries. If the authorities in the Middle East states do not take special measures to protect Christians, their exodus from these countries will continue.

Q. In what countries other than Egypt the situation of Christians causes concern?

A. Reports about persecution against Christians are coming from Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and several countries in South-East Asia. The notorious law ‘On Blasphemy’ enforced in Pakistan is used not only to defend the sacred symbols and names of Islam but also to persecute Christians. I will remind you that about a million and a half Christians used to live in Iraq until 2003. Now they are no more than a half of that number, while those who stayed fear for their life every day.

Q. How can persecuted Christians be protected against Christianophobia?

A. The intensified persecution of Christians has already compelled international organizations to make a number of appropriate statements. The European Parliament adopted on January 20 a resolution ‘On the Situation of Christians in the Context of Religious Freedom’. A similar resolution was adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. However, we have to take concrete and effective actions as well. It is necessary to organize urgently a system for protecting Christians against persecution. In the first place, it is necessary to set up information structures to monitor crimes committed on the grounds of religious hatred. Each case of violence and persecution against Christians should become a case for trial by both national and international judicial bodies.

Very important today is interreligious solidarity, for extremism and radicalism present a threat to all the traditional religions which seek a peaceful coexistence among people. It is also important that the phenomenon of persecution against Christians should not be hushed up but discussed actively and that representatives of traditional religions make joint efforts to improve the situation of Christians in the world. It is necessary that governmental and international organizations should join these efforts.

I believe the mechanism for protecting Christians can be as follows: economic and other aid in exchange for guarantees of the rights of religious minorities. If this policy is carried out efficiently we may change the situation for the better and stop the wave of persecution against Christians that has engulfed various countries today.

Share:
Patriarch Kirill’s telephone conversation with Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia

13.01.2023

Meeting held to discuss the situation in Ukraine

10.01.2023

Patriarch Kirill celebrates Great Vespers on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral

07.01.2023

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Nativity of Christ in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral

07.01.2023

Christmas Message from Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia

06.01.2023

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill calls for Christmas truce

05.01.2023

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill over demise of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

31.12.2022

The Holy Synod adopts a number resolutions concerning the external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church

29.12.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chaired joint session of the Holy Synod and the Supreme Church Council

28.12.2022

In His Own Words book by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill is published in the Serbian language

21.12.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with Chairman of the Muslim Board of the Caucasus Sheikh-ul-Islam Allah-Shuqur Pashazade

07.12.2022

Condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the death of Patriarch Abune Kerlos of the Eritrean Church

03.12.2022

Patriarch Kirill meets with the DECR chairman, the exarch for Western Europe and the auxiliary bishop of the exarch.

29.11.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with President of Cuba

22.11.2022

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill congratulated the Primate of the Albanian Church on the 50th anniversary of his episcopal ordination

19.11.2022

Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith

29.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul

01.08.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ

27.06.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us

07.03.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

Page is available in the following languages
Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب