05 May 2010, 10:05
Russian Orthodox Church accuses Europe of dual standards in freedom of expression
Moscow, May 5, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate is concerned by the fact that the freedom of expression in Europe often does not apply to religious communities.
"In the Western world today there is often the freedom to criticize any religious view, but at the same time tough censorship of religious symbols and religious approaches," Deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Hegumen Philipp (Ryabykh) has told Interfax-Religion.
That was his comment on the statement by Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland that the criticism of religions, "their myths and ideas" meet the European norms of democracy.
Religious views of various problems "very often are not regarded as equal to the views of people whose approach is based, say, on the findings of various sciences - both fundamental and humanities, and such views are attributed to the sphere of mythology which insults the stance of religious people," the clergyman said.
"Besides, the language of religion is censured in public life. Thus Christmas becomes simply a seasonal holiday. Christmas trees are kept out of public places and it has been suggested to remove the crucifix from schools," he said.
Thus Europe "that often demands openness, the freedom of expression restricts the right of religious people to be present with their opinions, and their vision of the world in the public sphere," he said.
Father Philipp called for guaranteeing the right of religious communities to freely express their points of view, for instance, on questions of bioethics or same sex marriages.
"If we succeed in building a society in which not only unreligious people and unbelievers can openly and freely express their stance, but also people with an alternative world outlook, it will truly be the desired result and desired situation in Europe," the clergymen added.
In an article written for the mass media Jagland said: "We cannot allow incitement to violence and hatred, but I vigorously defend both the right to criticize governments, political leaders, religions, their myths and their ideas, as much as the right of people to protest - peacefully - against such free expression, whether in articles, television programs, art or cartoons."
Freedom of speech and expression is the very essence of European identity, Jagland noted.
- Crimea does not need sexual minorities - Aksyonov 02 September 2014, 17:56
- Russian school in Bethlehem to strengthen Russian-Palestinian ties - Putin 02 September 2014, 10:01
- In order to come to Russia Dalai Lama must quit politics - Lavrov 28 August 2014, 10:13
- Wahhabism supporters use Internet to campaign for extremism - Kadyrov 26 August 2014, 17:47
- Kadyrov asks clergy to resist early marriages in Chechnya 26 August 2014, 14:58
- Yamalo-Nenets authorities deny violations of Muslims' rights at local prison 26 August 2014, 14:57
- Russian social network VK says Islamic State accounts blocked 26 August 2014, 10:05
- Church burns down in Donetsk as shell hits is - diocese 26 August 2014, 10:03
- Patriarch Kirill again calls on UN, Council of Europe, OSCE to help stop fighting in Ukraine 25 August 2014, 17:08
- Ukrainian army deliberately targets orthodox churches - archbishop of Gorlovka 25 August 2014, 16:55
- Pope Francis sends greetings to Ukraine on Independence Day 25 August 2014, 10:17
- Patriarch Kirill asks Poroshenko to stop war, prays for its victims 25 August 2014, 10:16
- Shell damages Donetsk mosque 22 August 2014, 14:20
- Islamists killing of U.S. reporter Foley is barbaric - Moscow 22 August 2014, 11:21
- Historical muftiate revived in Crimea 22 August 2014, 11:09
- Ukrainian shell hits church in central Lugansk 21 August 2014, 16:21
- Clerics bless humanitarian aid sent to Ukraine 21 August 2014, 13:44
- Twice as many churches to be built in Moscow in frames of Program 200 20 August 2014, 13:25
- Church from Moscow Program-200 can be included in world’s five masterpieces of mosaic art 20 August 2014, 13:21
- Patriarch Kirill demands intl protection of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine 20 August 2014, 10:13
- Deputy mufti murder in Vladikavkaz 18 August 2014, 11:42
- Ukrainian Orthodox Church urges gunmen in eastern Ukraine to lay down arms 18 August 2014, 10:06
- Patriarch Kirill: Uniates, schismatics seeking to eradicate Orthodoxy in Ukraine 18 August 2014, 10:05
- Patriarch Kirill sends greetings to Metropolitan Onufry 18 August 2014, 10:03
- Metropolitan Onufry enthroned as primate of Ukrainian Church 18 August 2014, 10:01
- Court suspends Kharkov authorities' resolution giving Russian senator title of Kharkiv freeman for building churches 15 August 2014, 12:50
- N. Korea's missile test-launch not connected with arrival of Pope Francis in Seoul - Pyongyang 15 August 2014, 12:43
- Far-right groups threaten Kiev Region priest with reprisals 15 August 2014, 11:54
- Ukrainian Orthodox Church ready for dialogue with "Kiev Patriarchate", Autocephalous Church 15 August 2014, 11:05
- Production of Kosher food boosts thanks to sanctions 15 August 2014, 10:04