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  Monday, August 26, 2019
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Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Orthodox Church share sublime missions-both keep in contact with ethnic Russians abroad and support them
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Orthodox Church share sublime missions-both keep in contact with ethnic Russians abroad and support them, and are making efforts against interethnic and interdenominational strife, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, said at an Easter gala reception. Alexis II the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia-Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church-was among the guests. "The Church is sharing many tasks with Russian diplomacy. It offers practical assistance to ethnic Russians in other countries, and is active in peacekeeping throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Russian Orthodox Church has joined hands with other religions established in Russia-Islam, Buddhism and Judaism-to prevent and eradicate strife between religions and ethnic entities, as this strife is a breeding ground for extremism in whatever form and manifestation," said the minister. He highlighted Church efforts to instill in its flock tolerance of people of other religions, confessions and ethnic backgrounds. "There is another field where the Foreign Ministry and the Church stand close by. That is promotion of an interdenominational dialogue. To spread that dialogue far and wide will come as sizeable assistance to the emergent Greater Europe clean of demarcation lines. It will enhance Russia's role on the international scene, and help this country to integrate into the global economy," Mr. Lavrov said with emphasis. President Vladimir Putin quite recently visited the Middle East. As he was stressing during that visit, the world has now overcome its ideological split, and is to prevent another split-on religious reasons or due to differences of civilizations, the Foreign Minister added. As Patriarch Alexis was making a return address, he pointed out a symbolical closeness in time of two spectacular events: the whole world will celebrate the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II a mere few days after Easter. The victory of 1945 also came on Easter week, when entire Eastern Christendom "was rejoicing as it glorified the Resurrection of Christ", he said.
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