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BEIRUT, November 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill is concerned over the future of Christians in Syria. He has made a statement at a press briefing upon arrival in Beirut from Damascus in reply to an Arab journalist’s question about his attitude to the Arab League decision on the Syrian problem.
“I act neither as a political leader, nor a diplomat, nor a political envoy, but as the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. My major concern over the events in the Middle East is the position of Christians in the region,” the patriarch said.
For many years Syria gives an example of “a peaceful, calm and benevolent coexistence and cooperation between Muslim and Christian communities.”
“We are certainly concerned over a probable development of events,” the supreme hierarch went on to say. “We witness what happened in Egypt and Iraq. We witness violence on Christians, we see the growth of Christianity-related phobia, which ruins those relations that had been developing with major difficulties for a long time.”
Kirill expressed hope that “nothing like this will happen either in Syria or Lebanon or any other country in the Middle East, North Africa and in the whole world.”
“The problem of interfaith relations is very important for Russia as well. We have formed a special style of relations between Orthodox Christians and Muslims. We cherish this. We believe that only peace between various religions can preserve peace on our planet,” the Russian patriarch concluded.