Sergei Gavrilov: “We look at everything that is happening in the Orthodox world with great sorrow”

Chairman of the Committee on Issues of Public Associations and Religious Organizations Sergei Gavrilov said that, commenting on providing of Ukrainian Orthodox Church with Tomos on autocephaly that is expected to take place in January
Chairman of the Committee on Development of Civil Society, Public and Religious Organizations Sergei Gavrilov
Chairman of the Committee on Development of Civil Society, Public and Religious Organizations Sergei Gavrilov

“We look at all the things happening in the Orthodox world with great sorrow. This is due to the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, despite all our frank and friendly meetings, decided to divide the Orthodox world,” the parliamentarian said. “Constantinople cannot say that they were not acquainted with the situation or was not aware of the consequences of such decision.” “His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ Kirill, the Athos elders, members of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy have told Patriarch Bartholomew about the issue of the unity of the Orthodox world. We had frankly discussions about serious consequences and responsibilities for maintaining the unity of our Orthodox world, but the decision has been taken for geopolitical reasons,” he added.

“Signing of Tomos on autocephaly for Ukrainian schismatics on the eve of Orthodox Christmas,” as Sergei Gavrilov Gavrilov Sergey Anatolievich Gavrilov
Sergey Anatolievich
said, “will make the drama even worse.”

The parliamentarian expressed his concern that national churches of Montenegro, Macedonia and Africa would become independent too with the help of administrative pressure and with the support of Constantinople. “The main goal of these actions is to keep the public opinion of European Christians away from cooperation with Russia,” he believes.

“Many Christians in the world support Russia and consider it a symbol of traditional spiritual values and of Orthodoxy. The attempt to create a ”parallel reality“ is aimed at persuading Western public opinion that the new schismatic church is true Christianity,” the head of the Committee said.

In his opinion, “it is necessary to intensify work with political circles in Russia, as the active participation of civil authorities in splitting the church and creating schismatic churches means that a dangerous mechanism of state participation and an information component in these issues has been launched.”

Sergei Gavrilov recalled some steps taken in Russia to protect people persecuted, including on religious grounds. It includes taking the necessary measures to protect the rights of fellow countrymen, humanitarian aid, granting of asylum in the territory of Russia and citizenship for Christians whose rights have been violated.

“The Russian state has always been a stronghold of truth, justice, world Christianity, it should more actively state its position as a state-supporter of human rights, including freedom of religion, freedom to be a member of one of the canonical churches without sanctions and pressure, in particular Russian Orthodox Church,” explained the parliamentarian.