10 April 2008, 16:46
Alexy II expects UN to ensure access of Orthodox believers to Kosovo
Moscow, April 10, Interfax - Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II has voiced the hope that the UN will ensure the rights of Orthodox believers in Kosovo.
"I hope the United Nations will do its best to ensure the access of Orthodox Christians to sacred places in Kosovo and prevent acts of violence against religious sites on that territory," he told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the St. Daniel's Monastery in Moscow on Thursday.
He also hopes that the UN "will protect the Serbian minority of the territory."
The Russian Orthodox Church regrets the failure "to reach consent of UN member countries about Kosovo and Metohija," which resulted in the unilateral declaration of independence, he said. The Moscow Patriarchate supports the Serbian Orthodox Church, "which has declared illegal the independence act and demanded its invalidation," he said.
The patriarch welcomed dialog of religious organizations with the UN and called for regular contacts of the kind.
International organizations, which represent the interests of various states and peoples, "should not be guided exclusively by secular principles," Alexy II said.
"The majority of people are believers, and religion should help form international legal norms and order," he concluded.