11 Mar 2022 21:58

Russian Orthodox Church calls on those not directly involved in conflict in Ukraine not to raise degree of hatred

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - Every person, regardless of his attitude to the events taking place in Ukraine, can do two things: pray for peace and not let hatred into his heart, head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Synodal Department for Church's Relations with Society and Mass Media Vladimir Legoyda said.

"I see that violence is increasing as the conflict unfolds. It's inevitable because military action is going on. But it is important that at least those who are not involved in them directly should not raise the degree of hatred," Legoyda said on Radio Vera.

He recalled Patriarch Kirill's words that one should "try to lower the degree of confrontation, the degree of emotional political discussions, which often go beyond the limits of decency."

"We should do everything to pacify and calm hearts so that the enemy of the human race cannot destroy our spiritual unity, which is the foundation of the religious and cultural life of our one people, Russians and Ukrainians," the patriarch said in his sermon after a liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on March 9.

Legoyda also called on people to bear in mind now that the military phase of the conflict will end sooner or later and "what was broken or was mean to be broken will need to be re-connected." For that reason, it is extremely important to follow the example of St. Sergius and pray for the unity of Holy Rus. So that, like the patriarch said, "No forces can divide our people and [...] our Church."

Legoyda said one no only should be cautious while evaluating the information that is being spread, but also be extremely attentive to one's statements on the recent events.

The unity of the Church is one of the most sensitive issues now, Legoyda said. "Our brothers in faith in Ukraine - both clergymen and laymen - are under a lot of pressure now," he said. That is the reason why Patriarch Kirill is praying for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for its head, Metropolitan Onufriy, "for the unity of our Church and for the people who are now in Ukraine in very difficult conditions," he said.