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Russian Church urging people of Ukraine to avert ‘spiritual blinding’

December 26, 2013, 19:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. As the Eastern Orthodox Christians in a number of countries are preparing to celebrate Christmas, which the Churches committed to the Julian calendar mark January 7, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has issued an appeal to the people of Ukraine to recall their spiritual roots and to stand firm against the political discords that might destroy the sisterly communications between different ethnic groups and the country’s the unity.

The document says that the turmoil in Ukraine “is sending painful echoes through the united, multiethnic and millions-strong Russian Orthodox Church.”

More than a half of Ukrainians espouse Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the majority of them are disciples of the autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which reports to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

“We’re praying for peace in the land of Ukraine and are asking our Heavenly Father to prevent discords and spiritual blinding of a nation that has been living for more than a thousand years in the realm of Orthodox Christianity,” the Synod of the Church said in the appeal.

“We hope no political contradictions will ever destroy our rapport and mutual assistance,” it says.

Members of the Synod stress their wish to see “reconciliation among various ethnic and social groups and supporters of different political outlooks, since civic discord, to say nothing of revolutions, cannot bring benefits to the people because they unleash mean and harmful passions.”

“The Church will always defend the eternal values given by God, the values that underlay - and hopefully will continue underlying - the life of our peoples, which are the successors to the historical Rus,” the appeal says. “It is the only foundation on which dignified life of the people should be based.”

“We realize the people of Ukraine have different outlooks for the future of their country and we respect the rights of its people for the choice of their own pathway but still it is important ensure that the pathway is really chosen by the people and is free and based on the knowledge of all the pros and cons rather than dictated by someone’s external will,” the Synod says.

It dismisses the attempts “to split the Church on political grounds” as an inadmissible provocations.

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