2021-05-08 17:56:00

Russian Orthodox Church hopes third world war won't happen, despite aggressive rhetoric

Moscow, May 8, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church hopes that the leaders of modern powers will have enough wisdom to prevent a new world war.

"It is with great alarm that I look at the development of the situation, the stories with the expulsion of diplomats, the stories with the reduction of embassy staff. I think that, if all these things don't stop at some point, it may lead to very sad consequences," Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said on the program Church and the World on Rossiya-24 television on Saturday.

Many people now no longer think that war is evil as people have lived in a situation of peace for 76 years now, he said. "The number of people who still remember the war is decreasing, and younger people are sometimes very militant, and even politicians now say that Russia has always won all wars, we don't fear anything, the one who will come to us with the sword will perish of the sword," the metropolitan said.

Russia has not won all wars, and those wars where it seemed it won led to multimillion casualties, he said. That was what, for example, happened in WWII, when Russia was on the side of the winners, but participation in that war actually caused large-scale casualties and the collapse of an empire, he said.

"Therefore it's very irresponsible to say that we don't fear war, especially now that the whole world is a gunpowder barrel, that a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons has been accumulated and the use of weapons can lead to a global catastrophe in the absence of deterring factors," the metropolitan said.

The metropolitan said he hopes that politicians will do everything to ensure peaceful negotiations and prevent a total conflict and a global war.

Recalling that such wisdom was manifested in the 1962 Caribbean crisis, Metropolitan Hilarion said he hopes that "there will be enough of this wisdom today as well."