2015-03-20 17:35:00

Russian Orthodox Church concerned about legalization of same-sex "marriage", abortion issue, and secularism in Europe

Moscow, March 20, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church is concerned about the erosion of the concept of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"Ten of the 19 countries where same-sex unions have been legalized are located in Europe, which directly affects Russia as part of the European civilization. It's enough to recall how the Russian law restricting the propaganda of homosexuality among minors was taken abroad," Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said at a meeting of the commission on international cooperation of the presidential council on liaison with religious associations in Moscow.

The metropolitan also spoke about the issue of abortion, calling abortion a major violation of human rights, the press service for the Synodal Department for External Church Relations reported.

"We should give every person the right to be born. And every person should be given the right to live as long as God determines. We are now living at a time when mobile euthanasia is developing in Europe (when appropriate medical brigades come to people's residences), child euthanasia and assisted suicide (suicide in the presence of a doctor)," the hierarch said.

The metropolitan said "manifestations of aggressive secularism, hen believers' feelings and religious sacred things are insulted and mocked under the pretext of freedom of speech and expression" are dangerous to civil peace.

The metropolitan also expressed concerns about the sharp increase in extremism and the situation of religious minorities in the Middle East. He hailed the declaration depending the Christian and other communities in the region, which was initiated by Russia, the Vatican and Lebanon. The document was presented at the 28th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 13 and was signed by 65 countries.