TIRANA - "We cannot move on with indifference over the suffering of Christians, the elderly, women and children in the Middle East and North Africa" said the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate, Ignaty, Metropolitan of Vologda Kirillov intervening in Tirana at the International meeting "Peace is always possible," on the theme of Christian unity in an increasingly divided world.
"In the so-called Islamic State - Metropolitan Ignaty continued – there is a real genocide of a religious nature taking place. One in four Christians is a victim of discrimination in the world today. Is the civilized society, formed in the traditions and culture of Christian visions, suffering from all this? It seems to me that Europe and America aren’t give much attention to this issue. "
The representative of the Moscow Patriarchate said that in the meeting organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio we must "turn to the Lord with a prayer for peace to end the bloodshed," but also make "the international community aware of the seriousness of the situation, looking to change events using for this purpose all the possible ways, including political means. "
Metropolitan Ignaty, which was for the first time visiting Albania, said there is one factor that brings "the history of Albanian Christianity together with that of Russian Orthodoxy," and that is "the era of suffering for faith, the desecration of relics , the denial of any form of religious life during the prevailing communist ideology that wanted to exclude God. "
Ignaty added: "In my country the Orthodox Church was at least allowed something similar to a legal existence, in this country – it’s an indisputable historical observation – from the late sixties onto the late eighties of last century, it was considered that religion had dissapeared and that it had no place in the construction of the bright national future."
For this reason, highlighted the Orthodox leader, “the fact that today we have the opportunity to get together in this land to testify the values of faith and the importance of the possibility of freely acting according to our own religious convictions is a living testimony of the evangelic words: ‘the gates of the underworld will not prevail’ (Mt 16,18)”.