2009-06-03 14:44:00

Influence of religion on EU decision-making is to increase, the Moscow Patriarchate believes

Moscow, June 3, Interfax – The Russian Orthodox Church believes a religious factor will play more significant role in future policy of the European Union.

“There is potential for this,” acting representative of the Russian Church at the European international organizations Archpriest Antony Ilyin said in his interview published by the NG-Religii newspaper on Wednesday.

According to him, “there are quite a lot of secularism followers in the European Union, but they don’t make a majority. Especially today, when two big countries with Orthodox culture, Bulgaria and Romania, have entered the European Union.”

“Let’s remember about millions of Russians and Russian-speaking people who live in the Baltic States - these people belong to jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate,” the priest said.

He believes “membership in the European Union is an accomplished fact” for the Russian Orthodox Church “in contrast to the Russian state.”

“Thus, our Church being an important part of Russia’s civil society is a participant of internal discussion about future of Europe,” Fr. Antony stressed.