17 March 2011, 16:13
Patriarch Kirill urges Orthodox world to be more pro-active in overcoming conflicts in Arabic countries
Moscow, March 17, Interfax - Participation of Orthodox believers in overcoming contradictions in Arab countries should be more active, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia believes.
"It (recent developments in some Arabic countries - IF) is a problem not only for the Islamic community. Therefore, I believe the participation of Orthodox countries in overcoming the crises, which have arisen in Northern Africa and the Middle East, should be more pro-active," the Patriarch said at the reception at the Greek Embassy in Moscow dedicated to the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
He noted that "today, Northern Africa and the Middle East are also in upheaval and there are a considerable number of Orthodox people living there."
The Patriarch believes that the vocation of Orthodox Churches and Orthodox nations "is not to follow the lead of other's ideas but, proceeding from their own spiritual experience, to offer a fresh and attractive paradigm, among other things, for building the social life of people in international relations".
In his address to the guests, Greek Ambassador to the Russian Federation Michael Spinellis reminded that the Embassy had celebrated the Triumph of Orthodoxy and beginning of the Great Lent for 18 years.
He is convinced that the Orthodox Church is capable of defining the spiritual values "which can change our world and our society for the better".
"We speak about the rejection of violence and love of the neighbor, criticism of the consumerist way of life and acceptance of spiritual values, appreciation of the traits characteristic of each member of society, respect for any faith or ideology which respect human dignity, moral principles and humanistic achievements," he said.
According to Spinellis, in the world "shaken by violence and instability" with its atmosphere of "continual changes and unknown future", both countries rely "on the foundation of the Church and Orthodox traditions, which, throughout the past centuries, have faced and overcome difficulties much more tragic than manifestations of violence within a country or economic crises, thus ensuring for our nations survival, stability, welfare and cultural and historical prosperity".
The Triumph of Orthodoxy is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent to commemorate the final defeat of Iconoclasm and the restoration of the icons to the churches.