2007-09-06 10:07:00

Europe must remain Christian "to survive" - Russian bishop

Sibiu (Romania), September 6, Interfax - A Russian Orthodox bishop said on Wednesday that, "to survive in the modern world, Europe must remain a Christian continent," but added that this did not mean "there is no room" in Europe "for people of other religions and with other outlooks on the world."

After Europe "came up against challenges thrown by other civilizations," increasing numbers of Europeans, including nonbelievers, have been coming round to the conclusion that "Christianity is a powerful source of support for European civilization," Kirill, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, told the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu.

Kirill, who heads the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, said this did not mean, however, that "there is no room" in Europe "for people of other religions and with other outlooks on the world."

It just means "recognition of the high role of the Christian faith in the past, present and future of our continent," he said.