Moscow, May 12, Interfax - Head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion spoke out against a mosaic portrait of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to be placed on the wall of the Russian Armed Forces' main church in the town of Kubinka outside Moscow.
"I believe that the images of Stalin definitely should not be placed in a Russian Orthodox church, because Stalin has been a persecutor of the Church, the blood of millions, including new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church, is on his conscience," the metropolitan said during the Church and World program on the Rossiya 24 (VGTRK) TV channel.
Meanwhile, the church is neither an exhibition hall, nor the Battle of Borodino panorama, and nor a place, where military parades should be depicted, he added. "The church is a place for praying, and I believe that the whole of the church's composition decoration should pursue this goal," the church hierarch said.
He acknowledged that the Armed Forces church is also a place of remembrance, therefore, it can feature some pictures depicting various military actions. "However, they should not be politicized; they should not cause discord or disagreements. Of course, churches should not feature the portraits of oppressors of the Church," the metropolitan said.