2014-10-30 10:01:00

Patriarch Kirill likens Ukraine situation with Arab Spring

Moscow, October 30, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia drew parallels between the events in Ukraine and the Arab Spring.

"I will tell you about the situation in Ukraine which is very reminiscent of what happened in the Middle East, and about the sufferings of representatives of our Church in that country," the patriarch said a meeting with the Patriarch of the Coptic Church Theodore II in Moscow.

"We have taken a stance of that of peacekeeping and are trying to reconcile the existing parties to the conflict, and hope that the efforts which today are being undertaken by various sides will lead to the end of bloodshed and establishment of a fair peace," Patriarch Kirill said.

The civil conflict can only be resolved "when all the parties to this conflict are satisfied with the decisions made," he said.

"We are aware that what was called the Arab Spring became hell for the Christian population. Through God's grace, Egypt came out of this situation, having made great sacrifices," Patriarch Kirill said.

He recalled that in 2011-2013 the Coptic Church found itself "in the most difficult situation when it was subject to open persecutions that involved demolition of temples and even murders, which led more than 200 Copts leaving Egypt."

The Russian Church actively raised its voice against such persecutions against Christians in Egypt, he said. Now that the situation has changed for the better, we hope this change will be durable and the demolished churches will be rebuilt, the Moscow patriarch said.

For his part, Patriarch Theodore expressed his confidence that the unity of the two Churches "will be key to resolving a host of problems worldwide."