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MOSCOW, December 20, 21:19 /ITAR-TASS/. Brutal murders of Orthodox and Muslim clerics that have occurred in the past few years have been rooted in the steeply increasing activities of religious extremist preachers, Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia Kirill said assessing the outgoing year at the annual diocesal conference in Moscow on Friday.
By the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Partriarch of Moscow is simultaneously the ruling bishop of the Archdiocese of Moscow City.
“In connection with the growing flow of immigrants and internal migrants, mainly natives of Central Asia and the Caucasus region, a threat of the escalation of inter-ethnic conflicts has increased,” the patriarch said. “The masses of immigrants and itnernal migrants include the bearers of radical views. And what is more, their recruiting is carried out occasionally right in the capital city.”
“Radicals are aggressive and prejudiced against Orthodox believers and over the past six years six Orthodox priests, including a Moscow priest Daniil Sysoyev, have been murdered,” he said.
His Holiness also reminded the listeners of Islamic spiritual figures killed by criminals and about rank-and-file believers who suffer, too, as “the degree of Islamophobia is rising in our society”.
“The extremists’ actions make local residents oppose, for instance, the construction of mosques,” he said.
“We bow our heads to the deeds of those Muslim religious men who fell dead protecting their believers from the extremist influences but we also know there are others who do not see or cannot see a mortal danger in indocrtinating the Russian Muslims -- and not only Muslims -- with the idea of ‘jihad against the infidels,’ which implies that 'infidels' include all the Orthodox believers who constitute the majority of indigenous residents /in this country/,” Patriarch Kirill said.