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Patriarch Kirill expects ‘spiritual mobilization’ from Russia’s Orthodox Christians

Source: Meduza

Following a liturgy at the Moscow Christ the Savior cathedral, Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox church, gave a sermon exhorting Russia’s Orthodox Christians towards “spiritual mobilization.” According to the church authority, this will assist in the “compete reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine.” The Interfax quotes the church hierarch’s sermon:

We are living in a fateful time, and in fateful times it is necessary to renew our faith, to sharpen our consciousness and our memory, to take a different view of many things — the same things that but yesterday we viewed without any special concern or care. And this spiritual mobilization to which I exhort you will help mobilize all the powers of our Fatherland; and at the same time, it will undoubtedly help the ultimate complete reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine, which represent a single space of the Russian Orthodox church.

The patriarch encouraged his audience to pray for an end to the “in-fighting,” and “that the Lord may save the young people especially, from having their lives end amidst this in-fighting.” The patriarch also advised Orthodox Russians to do everything possible to restore the “fraternal” relations between Russia and Ukraine, to which he referred to as “the two parts of a single Rus.”

Mobilization was announced in Russia on Sept. 21. According to the Defense Ministry’s official statement, its plan is to draft 300,000 new conscripts into the Russian army. Following this news, draft-eligible Russians began to urgently leave the country.

Patriarch Kirill’s sermons often turn to Russia’s military activities. He has previously justified Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine, suggesting that it had been provoked by Russia’s enemies abroad. In June, both Great Britain and Canada imposed sanctions on Patriarch Kirill, on the basis of his role in bolstering the Kremlin’s case for the war.

The patriarch’s position has prompted the Ukrainian Orthodox church to claim its independence from the Moscow Patriarchy. In September, the Latvian Saeima (Latvia’s state parliament) approved President Egils Levits’s proposal to grant similar independence to the Orthodox church of Latvia.

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