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Moslems, Christians equally subjected to purges in Middle East, says Patriarch

October 31, 2014, 20:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill discussed the situation in the Middle East with Syria’s supreme mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, in Moscow
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MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Moslems in the Middle East are subjected to purges in today’s Middle East as much as Christians, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I said on Friday as he met in Moscow with Syria’s supreme mufti, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.

“The tragedy in Syria and the tragedy in Iraq has turned into a huge grief for the Christian population of those countries but Moslems are suffering, too, and on the scope or their sufferings is even bigger,” Kirill I said.

“Still, since the Christian population constitutes a religious minority in these countries, its elimination may bring about a full disappearance of Christian presence in the Middle East and that’s already a civilizational disaster,” he said.

“On the background of what’s happening now, the position taken by the Syrian state, the position of the Syrian people, which doesn’t stop its struggle for independence, has an especial significance,” Kirill I said.

“We support your people and express solidarity with your personal mission,” he said. “We hope the war will end in the short term and durable peace will be established.”

Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun said on his part “there are no minorities on the religious plane” for spiritual leaders and “all people are equal” for them.

He also said had been looking forward to a meeting with the Moscow Patriarch for many years.

“I do hope we’ll also meet at a conference in connection with the horrible events that are happening in our country,” Syria’s supreme mufti said. “We do need a conference of this kind because the events unfolding in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine will spill over to other countries.”

He thanked Kirill I for humanitarian aid to the people of Syria and conveyed to him the greetings from President Bashar al-Assad.

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