June 20, 2018 in the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in the Danilov monastery in Moscow hosted a meeting of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, said patriarhiei.
On the part of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate in the meeting took part the Deputy Chairman of the DECR Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the DECR Secretariat for far-abroad countries deacon Andrey Titushkin.
The UN participated in the meeting: Deputy UN Secretary-General for political Affairs rosemary DiCarlo, Deputy Secretary General of the UN, the head of the UN office on counter-terrorism, V. I., Voronkov, senior Advisor for political Affairs of the unit A. Guterres F. Y. Klimchuk.
The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Russia the meeting was attended by permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in new York V. A. Nebenzia, head of division of international organizations Department, S. V. Ryabokon.
Welcoming the high guest, Patriarch Kirill noted that the Russian Orthodox Church with great attention and respect for the work of the United Nations, aware that this is the main place in the world to multilateral dialogue, in which each country has the opportunity to Express their position.
“We live in troubled times. Especially concerned about the growth of terrorism around the world and deep civil conflicts arising from time to time that disrupt the stability of the state and society, — stated the Patriarch. — All this cannot but cause concern. We cannot be indifferent to the situation that is emerging in relations between rich and poor. All of this is the dramatic story of the highly developed rapidly during the twentieth century, and it seemed that humanity will find solutions to this problem. But experience shows otherwise.”
According to His Holiness, people had hoped that in the twenty-first century is when everything changes for the better, but unfortunately, even taking into account the many positive changes in the recent history of human civilization, there are still a number of issues that modern society can not overcome.
“Of course the Church is a response to why this is happening, certainly his Holiness said. — The answer is, unfortunately, not all shared today, but it is fundamental: everything is because evil stems from the human heart. It is impossible to ignore the crisis taking place in the sphere of the moral life of modern humanity. Therefore, the participation of the Church in international Affairs should be aimed to awaken the consciousness of the people, without the inner moral renewal of the human community and of every individual human being is impossible to achieve real progress, including in eradicating conflicts on our planet”.
Continuing the conversation his Holiness also highlighted the plight of Christians in various parts of the world, particularly in the middle East where the Christian population is under threat of extinction.
“In the beginning of the conflict in Syria, I visited the country, — said the Patriarch. — The conflict started, there were terrorist actions, but I felt it necessary to come to Damascus and Lebanon, to meet with Christians and discuss with them the situation. I can attest to the fact that different Christian denominations and Muslims have lived peacefully with each other. When I arrived in Damascus and then in Beirut, thousands of people — Christians and Muslims — met me. And I was very pleased to see the level of interaction of representatives of the two communities”.
His Holiness expressed his concern that a large number of Christians left Syria today. “I consider it very important to do everything to ensure that Christians back in Syria, and in Lebanon, and in Iraq, to the lands where they lived and where in fact was driven by military action and terrorist acts” — said his Holiness.
“The Russian Orthodox Church stands together with other Christian communities in the protection of persecuted Christian minorities. We can attest to the fact that among Christians — Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants — there is a widespread understanding about the need to do everything possible to stop the dangerous trend is the disappearance of Christians from the countries of the Middle East”, — said the Patriarch.
“Implementing this programme assistance to the victims in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, we try to communicate not only with our Catholic and Protestant brothers, but our Muslim community,” said His Holiness, noting the high level of dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and representatives of other religions.
During the meeting, his Holiness Patriarch also touched on the problem of family values in modern society.
“Of course, we are very concerned about the crisis of family relations. Unfortunately, today there is such a thing as an aggressive secularism. Under his influence weakened, and in many countries, and destroyed family relationships. It is a cause of great concern”, — anxiously said his Holiness.
According to Patriarch Kirill, if the moral nature is destroyed, humanity will stop at nothing from the worst steps and actions, which may result in its destruction. “The preservation of morality is the key to the preservation of peace on our planet, said his Holiness. — It was guided by these thoughts, we believe it is necessary to actively participate, including in the discussion of international problems”.
In turn, the UN Secretary-General thanked the Primate of the Russian Church for the opportunity to meet and discuss topical issues of contemporary international life.
“In order to strengthen confidence between countries within the global community, the role of religion is very important. That’s why I’m glad about our meeting today”, — said A. Guterres. He also expressed concern about the situation of Christians in the middle East.
“Christian communities are an integral part of the identity of this region. They existed there long before the advent of Islam, — said the UN Secretary-General. — I am deeply convinced that after the situation in Iraq and Syria stabiliziruemost and will be found a diplomatic solution, it is very important to ensure the possibility of returning Christians and all religious minorities such as Yazidis, home. This question I am personally very much concerned”.