ASUNCION, February 17. /TASS/. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill foresees drastic changes in Europe with the ousting of Christianity in the region.
At talks with President of Paraguay Horacio Cartes Jara on Wednesday, he said they had discussed with Pope Francis in Havana "Christian values expelled from life in a whole number of modern countries".
"Europe should not lose its Christian roots: dechristianization of Europe is dangerous not only from the point of view of discrimination against Christians, it is also dangerous from the spiritual and cultural points of view," Patriarch Kirill said.
"Europe will be absolutely different if Christians are expelled from the public life of Europeans," he said.
Hopes pinned on Christian youth
Pope Francis and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill are pinning hopes on the Christian youth and their activity.
"We had a special appeal to the youth - they are our future," Patriarch Kirill said. "We specifically urge the Christian youth to be active, to take over the responsibility for the future of Christianity," he added.
A separate chapter in the joint declaration signed by the pope and the patriarch appealed to the youth.
"You, young people, have the task of not hiding your talent in the ground (cf. Mt 25:25), but of using all the abilities God has given you to confirm Christ’s truth in the world, incarnating in your own lives the evangelical commandments of the love of God and of one’s neighbour. Do not be afraid of going against the current, defending God’s truth, to which contemporary secular norms are often far from conforming," the declaration said.
The first meeting between a Pope and a Russian Church head since the Western and Eastern branches of Christianity split in the 11th century was held on February 12 at the airport of Havana.