MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced the hope that the Russian Orthodox Church, which enjoys tangible international authority, will be able to promote the process of postwar reconstruction in Syria.
"I do hope that the Russian Orthodox Church, with reliance on its authority in the world, will be able to promote concerted action by the international community for the sake of Syria’s revival, for providing humanitarian assistance to its citizens and for restoring its ruined cultural and spiritual centers," Putin said.
As he addressed the Bishops’ Council in Moscow on Friday, Putin asked: "What will happen if civilization wastes its spiritual and humanistic foundations and what risks humanity will be faced with?"
"Already now we can see the traditional values being eroded in many countries. This breeds degradation and mutual estrangement in society and de-personification of individuals. Indifference and loss of moral bearings bring about an upsurge of radicalism, xenophobia, and religious conflicts. Egoism ruins the person and turns into aggressive nationalism. Extremists and ideologists of terrorism and enemies of progress and the whole civilization fill the spiritual vacuum," Putin said. He recalled the crimes committed by terrorists in Syria and "how they persecuted their coreligionists and Christians, ruined churches and killed people."
Putin pointed out that the modern world "is changing rapidly and living through a very difficult period."
"Our country is inseparable from the global processes and trends. We must seek leadership in the technological sphere, in the economy, and in knowledge in the broadest sense to give our people well-being and security," he said.
He stressed that "ever more people set their eyes on Russia as a benchmark of unshakable traditional values and sound human existence."
"I am certain that to provide a proper response to the challenges of the future we must stand for justice and truth, retain our identity and rely on our culture, history and the basis of moral values and move forward to absorb everything new and progressive while remaining Russia - forever," Putin said.