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Russian Orthodox Church leader stresses role of religion in fight against extremism

April 30, 4:51 UTC+3 TIRANA

"I see no reasons other than those offered by the religion, which can disable the ideological basis of radicalism and terrorism," Patriarch Kirill said

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TIRANA, April 30. /TASS/. Only religion can offer sufficient arguments to destroy the ideological basis for radicalism and extremism, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill said in an interview with the Albanian media on Sunday.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church arrived to Albania’s capital Tirana on Saturday. This is the first ever visit of a Moscow patriarch to that country.

"I think that religion plays a very significant role in the fight against radicalism," he said. "I see no reasons other than those offered by the religion, which can disable the ideological basis of radicalism and terrorism."

"If radicals appeal to religious teachings and use ideas of a religion as a motive for their extremist deeds, only the religion itself can prove it all to be wrong. Only religious organizations can address their believers and help them understand that the ideas of extremists are false and dangerous both for people’s spiritual lives and their physical existence," Patriarch Kirill added.

He said that extremists "are often inspired by false interpretations of religious doctrines or justify their radicalism by the need to satisfy the God."

The Russian Orthodox Church leader said that the church should deliver an honest opinion of political actions without interfering into politics.

"Religion and politics cannot be two sides of the same medal, those notions are totally different. <...> A religious message centers on a person’s soul, his conscience and morality," he said. "But I’m totally convinced that the church has the right to give a moral evaluation of this or that policy by this or that political leader, with an aim to defend its followers from political figures who may damage them spiritually or physically.".

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