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Patriarch Kirill I presents his book at Russia’s embassy in China

May 12, 2013, 20:45 UTC+3

"No civilizational model can claim universality," he said

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BEIJING, May 12 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s Embassy in China hosted on Sunday a presentation ceremony of Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Kirill’s book translated into the Chinese language. Representatives of China’s traditional religions and the State Administration for Religious Affairs under the State Council visited the ceremony.

“Dear Mr Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen, dear brothers and sisters, it’s so exciting for me to present here my book 'Freedom and Responsibility: A Search for Harmony' published in Chinese, one of the most ancient languages of the world,” the patriarch said.

Lately, human rights have often been used as a kind of political weapon, he said.

“Someone declares his own understanding of ideal human rights and keeps on insisting that all other people in the world should interpret the idea of freedom and rights in exactly the same fashion,” His Holiness said.

“No civilizational model can claim universality,” he said. “There are a lot of models and no one has the right to say his model is the most acceptable or the most universal. So it is necessary to continue dialogue between cultures and religions as well as dialogue on the freedom of human rights.”

“The book I am presenting now offers a viewpoint of an Eastern Orthodox believer on the issue,” the patriarch said. “Certainly, some points of Orthodox theology are among the themes but they are included in the book so that Muslims, Buddhists or non-believers could understand it.”

“I’d like to present this book as a contribution to global discussions about freedoms and human rights and I am really glad to offer it for reading,” he said in conclusion.

On Sunday morning the supreme hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church performed the first ever patriarchal liturgy in China’s history. Patriarch Kirill served at the church situated in the territory of the Russian embassy in Beijing which he visited in 2001 and 2006 as the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad.

Archpriest Dionysius Pozdnyaev chanted a liturgy there in May 1996, the first one after forty years’ break.

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