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MOSCOW, December 22 /TASS/. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has urged all Russians to remember the lessons of history and adequately assess everything that had happened to the country under Soviet rule.
In his address to the Diocesan Assembly of the Moscow clergy held at the Christ the Savior’s Cathedral, Patriarch Kirill said that 2017, which will mark the centenary of the 1917 Socialist Revolution in Russia, would be a landmark year for the Russian Orthodox Church and the Churches in all other countries located in the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate.
"This year will revive the memory of events that took place a century ago when this country was rocked by two revolutions," the Moscow Patriarchate quoted the patriarch as saying on its official website.
The Russian Orthodox Church believes that it is extremely important to realize the causes of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and draw conclusions from the events that followed it. According to the Church, it is not a theoretical but a practical task. "It is vitally important to avoid downplaying or concealing the bright feats of our people and all the good which was done in those past years. But it is equally important not to play down or obscure the troubles and disruptions, which our Motherland experienced after the 1917," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said.
The patriarch noted that the events of 1917 brought radical political forces to power, who pushed atheism and materialistic ideas on to society. The new authorities caused a break in the traditional ways of life, which led to terrible consequences: a long and bloody Civil War, the forced exile of multitudes of our compatriots abroad and mass reprisals, which the new powers launched against dissidents.
"The Russian Orthodox Church was also subject to unprecedented persecution last century. Tens of thousands who believed in God, many bishops, clerics, monks and the laity suffered for Christ in those years. Many churches and monasteries were either closed, or destroyed and Orthodox relics were either desecrated, or eliminated," Patriarch Kirill said.
He believes that one of the main lessons, which Russians should learn from the past century, is that a society based on defiance of the Lord and His eternal moral laws, is doomed to self-destruction.
"This should be remembered today when a number of countries are trying to build people’s life and a system of public relations by marginalizing religion," Patriarch Kirill said.
"In this connection, our pastoral mission and our everyday work take on a historical dimension," Patriarch Kirill concluded.