Patriarch Kirill visits North Caucasus for the first time
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill began his first visit to the North Caucasus. He arrived to the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria (KBR), Nalchik, where he consecrated the church of St. Mary Magdalene.
"This is my first visit to the North Caucasus, where the majority of people are Muslims. I attach great importance to this," he said, TASS reports.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill was met at the Nalchik airport with traditional bread and salt, as well as performances by folk groups of Kabardino-Balkaria.
He noted that he attaches great importance to his first visit to KBR. Especially since there is a serious reason for it: the consecration of St. Mary Magdalene church. Kabardinian princess, who was married to Ivan the Terrible, was named in honor of this saint. Special ties of central Russia and Kabardino-Balkaria started from this.
Patriarch Kirill wished the prosperity to the republic and peace, harmony and God's help in everything to the multinational people living here.
The consecration of this church will be the first event in a series of upcoming festivities to mark the 460th anniversary of Kabarda's accession to Russia. It will be celebrated in 2017.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill described the West's distancing from Christian moral values as a catastrophe.
"We know what tremendous forces are used today to detach Christians from an authentic understanding of God's moral law. And we know what a catastrophe occurs in Western Europe and in the rich American-European world in general," he said.
As he noted, many Christians in the West forget about their roots, rethink the basics of morality, "justify sin not only in their community, but also support sinful laws that justify sin".
According to him, many people in the world don't like interethnic harmony in Russia, and they try to radicalize religious or national groups, and detach Christians from an authentic understanding of God's moral law.
The head of Kabardino-Balkaria Yuri Kokov noted that Orthodoxy has great spiritual potential. "We are grateful to you and the entire Russian Orthodox Church for what it is doing for strengthening of interfaith harmony. We believe that religious harmony was and still is the foundation of prosperity of our nations," he added.