2011-04-05 18:16:00

Russian Orthodox Church fears Islamists' arrival in Arab world

Moscow, April 5, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate has expressed fears that religious extremists may seize power in North Africa and in the Middle East.

"Changes in political regimes and a collision of interests of different social forces may lead to uncertainty, violence and lawlessness," Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told a delegation of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee in Moscow on Tuesday.

Radical Islamists, notorious for their calls for violence against Jews and Christians may come to power in these regions, he said.

"We have been observing growth in Christianophobia, which may deteriorate into a plunder of Christian churches and killings of Christians. The world community must rise to defend the basic human right to freely choose a religion and to live abiding by the religious norms and principles," he said.