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Sunday, May 28, 2023

German Prez calls on Christians to stand up to Russian Orthodox Church for war stance

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on Christians to stand up to the Russian Orthodox Church in its stance in defence of the Russian war against Ukraine.

“The leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church are currently leading their faithful and their entire church down a terrible, blasphemous path that is downright hostile to the faith,” Steinmeier said on Wednesday at the start of the World Council of Churches (WCC) assembly in Karlsruhe.

“They justify a war of aggression against Ukraine — against their own, against our own brothers and sisters in faith.”

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has repeatedly defended President Vladimir Putin’s actions, dpa news agency reported.

“This propaganda against the free rights of the citizens of another country, this nationalism that arbitrarily claims God’s will for the imperial dreams of the rule of a dictatorship, this attitude must see our opposition,” the German President said.

“Also here in this hall, also here in this assembly.”

He added that one must speak out and denounce the actions.

“We must, as a Christian community, profess our support for the dignity and freedom and security of Ukrainians.”

Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church are also taking part in the congress. Steinmeier said that what he expects that “they will not be spared the truth about this brutal war and the criticism of the role of their church leadership”.

The German President added that dialogue is necessary, but it must not be limited to religious wishes and remain vague.

“It must name victims as well as perpetrators and their accomplices,” he said.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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