2017-05-12 20:16:00

Patriarch Kirill satisfied with situation around preservation of holy sites in Palestine

Moscow, May 12, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has welcome positive changes occurring in Palestine as far as the preservation of ancient shrines is concerned.

"We welcome those big changes that are taking place in Palestine in terms of maintaining and preserving the holy sites," Patriarch Kirill said at a meeting with the leader of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in Moscow on Friday.

The Russian Church leader noted the efforts to preserve the holy sites, which too art part of the Palestinian leader's responsibility, while stressing that "Palestine is a holy land in the heart of every Orthodox [Christian] person."

The patriarch also said that he was glad about the opening of a Russian cultural center in Bethlehem and that "throughout its presence on the Palestinian land the Russian Church was trying to help the Palestinian people."

"We are glad to be resuming our humanitarian mission," he said.

Inter-religious peace remains in Palestine, and "Orthodox people are experiencing no harassment from the majority," the patriarch said.

"The style of the relations between Christians and Muslims in Palestine is a very important factor reinforcing the fondness for your country," Patriarch Kirill told Abbas.

It is regretful that there is no such peaceful co-existence in some of the countries in the Middle East, where terror groups control parts of their territories, the Russian patriarch said, calling for "joint efforts aimed at ending the armed conflict" in the region.