Patriarch Kirill: Russia does not seek to seize other countries. ISW: Russia uses religion as a weapon

Russia does not seek to seize other countries or become richer in the current conflict with the “world rulers of the darkness of this world”, but only defends its independence,” Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia told the participants of the meal after the liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the feast of the Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem, reports Christian Megaportal inVictory with a link to the Institute of Religion and Politics.

“Our current battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spirits of wickedness in high places. I say this boldly, with full confidence that Russia is on the side of the peace. And this can be easily proved, because Russia does not seek to become richer, does not seek to seize other countries, does not seek to subdue anyone. Russia is simply striving to preserve its identity, its faith, its system of values,” the patriarch said.

He argues that Russia’s military clash with the West was led by a complete lack of common values and the absence of Christian values in the West.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that Russia continues to use religion as a weapon to discredit Ukraine in the international arena and uses religious information operations to achieve military goals, despite the fact that it itself carries out gross violations of religious freedom in occupied Ukraine, notes Ukrainian truth.

The Russian occupation authorities are likely to be conducting a campaign of systematic religious persecution in occupied Ukraine.

According to the institute, since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian soldiers or occupying authorities have committed at least 76 acts of religious persecution in Ukraine.

It is noted that Russian authorities closed, “nationalized” or forcibly converted at least 26 places of worship into the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, killed or captured at least 29 clergy or religious leaders, and looted, desecrated or deliberately destroyed at least 13 places of worship on the territory of occupied Ukraine.

The report concludes that these cases of religious repression are most likely not isolated incidents, but rather part of a targeted campaign aimed at the systematic eradication of “undesirable” religious organizations in Ukraine and the promotion of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Experts also note that the Russian authorities systematically suppress religious freedom in Russia, which is a matter of state policy.

They add that Russia is implementing its state policy of systematic religious persecution in the occupied territories of Ukraine.

Although, on the other hand, the Kremlin positions itself as a defender of Christianity in general and Eastern Orthodoxy in particular.

According to the institute, Russian occupying forces have also targeted other faiths that are distinctly Ukrainian culturally. In addition, the invaders are also repressing the Protestant minority in Ukraine.

Vladimir Gundyaev (Patriarch Kirill) was sanctioned by Ukraine, Britain, Canada and Australia, and Lithuania banned him from entering the country “for supporting the war.”

Earlier, we reported that Ukraine imposed sanctions against Russian churchmen – 21 representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of the ROSHVE Ryakhovsky.

Source: Патриарх Кирилл: Россия не стремится захватить другие страны. ISW: Россия использует религию как оружие | Новости inVictory

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