17 November 2014, 10:15
Patriarch Kirill criticizes attempts to rewrite history of Serbia, former USSR
Belgrade, November 17, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has cautioned against attempts to manipulate historical facts.
"History cannot be rewritten, although some people try to do that in Serbia, on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Sometimes they use such rewritten textbooks to teach children, thinking that a new generation will appear and it will forget about history," the patriarch said during a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic in Belgrade.
The patriarch reiterated that "it's a big mistake: facts can't be erased from people's memory, no matter how hard they try to rewrite history."
The patriarch also said Russia and Serbia are connected with "history, faith and blood."
"There were heroic pages of our joint history and there were tragic pages, but there have never been any conflicts between Serbia and Russia. We have either won and rejoiced, or suffered together," he said.
The patriarch said these events involve the liberation of the Balkans from the Ottoman oppression, "WWI, and the exodus of Russians, including to Serbia, where they found their second homeland, and the fight against fascism, and the liberation of Belgrade."
"There was a lot of bloodshed and sorrows, but the feeling of brotherhood has never failed in the relations between Russia and Serbia. In contemporary history, our heart went out to the people of Serbia when your country was bombed by NATO and we now have compassion to the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija, and we help them all we can," the patriarch said.
Having pointed out the good brotherly relations between the Russian and Serbian Orthodox Churches, Patriarch Kirill said he is convinced that they should "keep the spiritual and cultural foundation of the people, and the authorities, both in Russia and Serbia, should build their polices in such a way as not to destroy this foundation."