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Leading Russian Orthodox official laments persecution, says ‘Islamic terrorism’ does not exist

February 23, 2017

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volkolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met on February 21 with representative from 11 Arab states.

“The great evil of extremism acting under religious slogans has raised its head,” Metropolitan Hilarion said. “Terrorists exterminate Christianity by fire and sword at the places where Christians have been living for nearly two thousand years. I am convinced that the situation of a Christian community in this or that country of the Middle East is an indicator of security and stability.”

The prelate also criticized two ideas he termed “erroneous”: first, “the idea that Christians are a part of the sinful Western world, that they are accomplices of Islam’s enemies”; and second, that there exists “religious terrorism” or “Islamic terrorism.”

He explained:

There cannot be any terrorism on religious grounds or terrorism based on religious beliefs. Not one of the traditional religions teaches to kill people. All religions call for peace. And the history of coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, in other regions, in Russia proves that the two religions can co-exist in peace and mutual respect.

 
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  • Posted by: brownjudith2930 - Feb. 27, 2017 12:27 AM ET USA

    Metropolitan Hilarion needs to read the Koran. Violence against non-Muslims is mandated in more than one place!

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Feb. 24, 2017 8:31 AM ET USA

    The Metropolitan knows whereof he speaks.Ask the people in the trenches,not those on the other side of the world.

  • Posted by: WBSM - Feb. 24, 2017 3:52 AM ET USA

    "Not one of the traditional religions teaches to kill people." pray, give him a copy of the Quran "the history of coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East, in other regions" where Islamic rule has been established is that Christians can choose: 1. convert to Islam; 2. die; 3. to live as subjugated people, second class citizens. What a wonderful history of coexistence indeed! beautiful blasphemy laws, jizya and harac. We should all learn from it.

  • Posted by: Jerome - Feb. 23, 2017 1:58 PM ET USA

    If you say so.

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 23, 2017 8:43 AM ET USA

    Hilarion probably wanted to be extra "diplomatic" to the representatives from 11 Arab states. But when the terrorists scream each time "Allahu Akbar" while murdering innocent people, it does not take a genius to figure out their religious affiliations and the motives. Why keep denying reality? It's not helpful to anyone.