Home page News
Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at th…

Speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and representatives of Russia’s religious communities.

On 25th October 2023 a meeting took place at the Saint Catherine Hall of the Moscow Kremlin between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and representatives of Russia’s religious communities.

Participating in the meeting was His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus'. After the presentation by the Russian President, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the Russian head of state and all those gathered.

“Vladimir Vladimirovich, I express my gratitude to you for the initiative of holding this meeting and for the words which you have just addressed to us. This is indeed a much-needed and urgent meeting.

I am especially concerned over the many new conflicts which have arisen with renewed force in the eastern mediterranean. The attention of the faithful of the Abrahamic religious traditions has been focused on this region for centuries. Jerusalem was and remains a holy city for both Christians, Jews and Muslims. Palestine and Israel are territories making up the Holy Land where the most important events in world history took place, primarily events directly tied to the encounter between God and the human person.

Russia has historically supported the closest ties with the Holy Land, it strives to retain a Russian presence there, the history of which is exceptionally replete with facts and events. The many written testimonies and cultural artifacts point towards the fact that pilgrimage to the Holy Land was one of the most desired and significant events in the life of God-fearing Russian people.

It was the securing of the opportunity of visiting the Holy Land for a great number of our compatriots that was one of the main goals of establishing more than 140 years ago by Emperor Alexander III the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. This organization has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to supporting the Palestinian people, primarily in the educational and social spheres. Schools, homes and hospitals were built, which is to say that great charity work was done aimed at supporting the local population.

It is a joy to note that the traditional mutual ties between Russia and the Holy Land continue to develop. I would like to note especially that Russia strives to support these historical ties as well as cultural interaction with the lands and peoples of the Middle East.

Our present meeting is taking place at a very difficult time, although I do not know of any times that were not difficult. A huge number of conflicts are unfolding throughout the world at the present time. A consequence of these conflicts are the new threats to the peaceful coexistence of peoples and countries, friendly and neighbourly relations are being destroyed and the foundation of ties that have been firmly established between various cultures and religions is being put to the test as religions are also drawn into these conflicts.

The events of recent weeks are cause for the greatest concern, for they touch upon the very complex issue of the relationship and interaction between the two most ancient Abrahamic religions of Islam and Judaism. I would like to express my gratitude to you as President of the Russian Federation and to the Russian state leadership for your consistent position of pursuing peace with regard to the problems of regulating the conflict in the Middle East. It is difficult to state what we would now see in the Middle East if it were not for Russia’s role in the peace-making process, and only a blind person can fail to see that upon this role there depends in as far as possible stability and tranquility in the Middle East.

I sincerely believe that we – the representatives of Russia’s various religions, the secular authorities and society as a whole – have a common interest in interreligious and intercultural dialogue serving the cause of peace and accord. We all desire that relations between the faithful of the traditional religions should be mutually respectful and benevolent. For this we do have the necessary firm foundations in the form of a moral consensus, of a common understanding of what is good and what is evil. This element is of fundamental importance. In a certain sense we have a common system of moral values which are coloured of course by their culture and religion, but in essence the distinction between good and evil in our religions is one and the same.

Religions should never serve the cause of hatred – and we hear calls for this today, unfortunately, from various religious groupings.  I believe that all the spiritual leaders present here will agree with my assertion that the notion of hatred of one’s fellow human beings cannot in any way be associated with religion. This notion, moreover, in its inner nature undoubtedly comes from the enemy of the human race which is the devil, who hates that which is good.

We, the leaders of Russia’s traditional religions, know full well the tragic nature of what is happening at present in the Middle East, and therefore we have no right to allow within our country calls for enmity and the manifestation of hatred on religious grounds. And, glory be to God, with the exception of quite marginal groups, nothing of the sort is happening.

The conflict in the Middle East should not tell upon relations between religious communities, including in Russia. Our coreligionists see us today sat at the same table together, in dialogue with each other and with the head of state. This is a unique example of how the Russian state interacts with the religions that are to be found on the territory of Russia.

Together we bear testimony to the absence of major differences, including on issues connected with public life. And in addition, as I have already stated, we have much in common on issues of morality, while we believe sin to be the common enemy which vanquishes the human soul.

Of course, secular ethics and even more so secular laws are not guided by the notion of sin, but are guided by the notion of the violation of laws. Sin is the violation of God’s law which lies at the heart of human morality, and it is on the foundation of human morality that has been historically formed in many cultures that laws come into being. This is why there of course exists a deep connection between religious values, religious faith and laws.

At present, unfortunately, provocations are happening aimed at worsening the conflict in the Middle East by means of dehumanizing the other side by recourse to the media. In order to remove this threat, we need to throw light upon the situation as broadly as possible and without prejudice. It is evident that Russia’s position, in consistently standing for the principle of respect for the legitimate interests of each side and in all ways possible supporting the aspirations of the civilian population of Israel and Palestine in establishing a lasting and just peace, enables the search of ways of putting an end to the armed conflict and restoring dialogue between political opponents.

At the same time, we cannot but state that any strikes at civilian institutions and religious holy sites are worthy of the utmost condemnation. Perhaps this is why religious sites are often subjected to such attacks in order to provoke and harden the hearts of people and thereby worsen the conflict. Unfortunately, in recent days we have heard much in the news to this effect.

The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, which attends to the spiritual needs of Christians living on both sides of the conflict, holds to a position which is both principled and consistent, which is that civilians should never be the target of military assault and they should be given all help and support. I would like together with you, Your Excellency, as well as with my brothers gathered here today and who are participating in this conversation, to express our joint support for the efforts of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, headed by Patriarch Theophilos, and call upon all not to weaken in their prayer and our further common efforts in establishing a lasting and just peace in the Holy Land. The Holy Land is our common spiritual, cultural and historical treasure, and it is for this reason that peace in the Holy Land is our common responsibility and concern.

I thank you for your attention.”
Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the XII Christmas Parliamentary Meetings at the Federation Council of the Russian Federation


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill: Patriarch of Constantinople is not a free man


Christmas Message from Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Rus’


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had phone conversation with Metropolitan Ioann of Belgorod and Stary Oskol


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill expresses condolences over deadly earthquake in northwest China


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill congratulates Mr Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on his re-election as President of Egypt


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill welcomes the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the decoration of the Church of St Sava in Belgrade


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides over jubilee meeting of Inter-Religious Council of Russia


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at jubilee meeting of Inter-Religious Council of Russia


Patriarchal greetings on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the Diocese of Vienna and Austria


Primate of Russian Church presents historic miracle-working Kazan Icon of the Mother of God to the faithful and celebrates Liturgy in the Kremlin Dormition Cathedral


Address by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ to the participants of the World Conference of Compatriots Living Abroad


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill met with the Primate of the Assyrian Church of the East


Statement by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the events at Makhachkala airport


Patriarch Kirill gives his blessing to offering up fervent prayers for archpastors and clerics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church striving to preserve church unity


DECR chairman meets with the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch


DECR chairman concelebrates Liturgy with Patriarch of Antioch at Russian Church’s Metochion in Damascus


Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk begins working visit to Syria


DECR Chairman Addresses Round Table at the Federation Council


Chairman of the DECR participates in the presentation of the Russian-language edition of Pope Benedict’s book Jesus of Nazareth.


DECR chairman meets with leader of the Israeli Druze community


DECR chairman attends presentation of Christmas project at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


DECR chairman meets with British ambassador


Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Anthony meets with the chairman of the board of trustees of the Saint Andrew the First-Called Foundation Vladimir Yakunin.


DECR chairman attends official opening of an exhibition on interior decoration of St. Sava Church in Belgrade


DECR Chairman met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation


The DECR Chairman took part in the international Muslim forum


DECR Chairman and Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe celebrate at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Paris


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill presides over jubilee meeting of Inter-Religious Council of Russia


Session takes place of the Commission for International Co-operation under the Russian Presidential Council for Interaction with Religious Organizations


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America


Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people


Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible


Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people


Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us


Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب