2008-06-07 13:09:00

Russia's victories in sports and Eurovision proves strength and confidence of this country in the world, the Russian Church believes

Moscow, June 7, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church shares collective joy for Russia's recent victories in football, hockey and the Eurovision song contest.

"Not only goals, prizes and golden microphones are important. It's important that our country is firm again on the ground of European culture; it feels strong, independent and has something to say to the world," deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said to the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

Fr. Vsevolod confessed that it was "a great joy" to watch the games between Zenith and Glasgow Rangers and between teams of Russia and Canada. According to him, in both games Russian sportsmen demonstrated will and team skills: "team play and organizational talents."

"We, Russians, often lack these qualities and we have to develop them in ourselves," the Church's representative said.

He also confessed that he wasn't "a great admirer" of Eurovision winner Dima Bilan's musical style.

"It's interesting that both in his song and in the song that won the first place for Serbia last year there is conscious or unconscious link to the faith and to the supreme cultural tradition: it's not for nothing that the Hungarian violinist played a Stradivari violin," Fr. Vsevolod stressed.

Most of all he liked the way various countries voted in the Eurovision.

"Ukrainians, Georgians, Greeks, citizens of the Baltic states and countries of the Central and Eastern Europe expressed their good attitude to Russia in spite of all political conflicts. And it was very joyful."