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Russia’s inter-religious council passes statement on protection of believers in warzones

December 11, 2014, 21:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Leaders of Eastern Orthodox, Islamic, Judaist, and Buddhist organizations attended a meeting of the council that was held in the Kremlin
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A damaged icon seen in war-torn Syria (archive)

A damaged icon seen in war-torn Syria (archive)

©  EPA/YOUSSEF BADAWI

MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Council for collaboration with religious associations that reports to the Russian President on Thursday endorsed a statement urging the parties to various armed conflicts to respect the rights of believers trapped in warzones.

Leaders of Eastern Orthodox, Islamic, Judaist, and Buddhist organizations attended a meeting of the council that was held in the Kremlin.

The statement expresses deep concerns of Russia’s religious leaders over the fate of Christians, the followers of moderate Islam and members of Jewish of religious communities in the Middle East, northern Africa and some parts of Ukraine.

“Bloodshed is going on in some countries of the Middle East and northern Africa and peaceful civilians, including Moslems who do not accept the radical pseudo-religious ideologies, are dying,” the statement says.

“Practically no Christians have been left in Libya, while ethnic Armenians and their shrines are being destroyed in Syria,” members of the council indicate.

“Cases of illegitimate expropriation of prayer buildings from the religious communities affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (that reports to Moscow Patriarchate - TASS), which occupies a peacemaking stance, have been registered in a number of regions of Ukraine,” they say. “Facts of unfair treatment of Protestant and Judaist communities have been reported from various corners of the country.”

The Council also called for rendering unimpeded assistance the deliveries of humanitarian cargoes, for displaying humanism toward people of opposite political convictions, including prisoners of war, for assuring the freedom of consciousness and faith, and for putting an end to violent and discriminatory actions based on religious or ethnic intolerance.

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