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Moscow Patriarch calls on Arabs to stop perceiving Europe as foe

October 11, 2011, 6:04 UTC+3

Patriarch voiced concern over the events unfolding in North African and the Middle East

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CHISINAU, October 11 (Itar-Tass) – Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I, who gave an interview to Moldovan, Romanian and Russian TV channels Monday night, voiced concern over the events unfolding in North African and the Middle East.

“It’s totally unclear today what percentage the genuine popular initiative accounts for in all the things happening there today and what percentage is taken up by assistance from abroad, to put it mildly,” he said.

Kirill I believes that truth will surface all the same one way or another and the world will know then “to what degree this is an expression of will of the peoples who are discontent with their rulers, and to what degree the situation has been engineered.”

On the face of it, His Holiness is worried about the perception of Europe in the Arab countries,

“It’s important to ensure that the Arab world shouldn’t view Europe as an aggressor because Europe – even as godless as it is today, excuse me please – represents the Christians in the minds of the profoundly religious Arab population,” Kirill I said.

“This involvement /of the European nations in the current tense situations in the Middle East – Itar-Tass/ -- political and, on top of that, military involvement in untangling the problems inherent in the Arab world – is viewed at the level of the marketplace, or the ordinary city street as a struggle of some kind that the Christians are ostensibly leading against Islam,”

Kirill I believes it is essential now “to prevent the playing up of an inter-religious and inter-civilizational factor because this may produce very painful echoes across the globalized world of nowadays – not only in the Middle East but in European countries, too.”


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