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Russian ombudsman blames aggressive secularism for spiritual crisis in Europe

December 06, 2016, 19:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian ombudsman draws rights advocates’ attention to protection of Christians

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MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The European society is in the grip of a deep spiritual crisis, caused by a policy towards aggressive secularization and discrimination of the family, Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law said on Tuesday.

"We are witnessing reaction of the population to a gravest spiritual crisis that has hit the countries of Europe, in particular France," Konstantin Dolgov told the round-table discussion "Church and foreign policy of Russia: traditions, tendencies and prospects" in Moscow.

"The most unpopular president in the history of the French Republic - it is clear that this is also a reaction of those parents who don’t want to see their children banned from saying ‘mother’ and ‘father’ but instead compelled to say ‘Parent 1’ and ‘Parent 2’," Dolgov said.

"I asked my French colleagues why are they introducing a new line of division, discrimination? What is the principle to be based on in determining the numbering of the parents? By drawing lots? They said they had not thought about that," the diplomat said, marking that by doing this the Europeans "are moving in leaps and bounds to a new discrimination".

"The same can be seen in many other western countries. May be this is why today, when part of political elites pursue exactly this course, our western colleagues are not that active in protecting the rights of Christians," he went on.

"Outwardly everybody is active, but practical moves are scarce, although Russia is in the avant-garde," Dolgov said.

He also noted that as a reaction to "aggressive secularism" in their countries "Europeans are now visiting Athos more frequently". "People keep going there, and even those who are very wealthy, although earlier their interests were in different spheres. They are heading there because they have spiritual needs," Dolgov said.

The ombudsman has urged human rights activists to pay more attention to protection of Christians around the globe.

"More efficient, coordinated and practical moves of the states and civil societies are needed on the global arena in all respective international formats and at all platforms," Konstantin Dolgov said at the round-table discussion "Church and foreign policy of Russia: traditions, tendencies and prospects".

"We must jointly think here about how to make our actions more efficient and push our human rights campaigners towards this. We don’t always hear the voice of rights advocates, in particular, Russian ones, on the issue of protection of Christians," said the ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The diplomat stressed that ethnic Russians who find themselves in the Middle East and in Ukraine are among those affected. "But human rights advocates prefer talking on absolutely different subjects that are interesting for them," he noted.

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