International Orthodox Christian News

Russian Church: Christians have limited rights in some States

Vienna, March 5, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church expressed anxiety at alleged discrimination against Christians and members of other religious communities in various countries.

At a roundtable at the headquarters in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Representation to European Institutions, pointed out alleged problems experienced by Christians in Turkey, the Northern part of Cyprus and Kosovo.

He urged the OSCE to do its best to solve the alleged problems and monitor the life of Christians in those countries.

Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, argued at the roundtable, that under international law, religious freedom implied not only one's right to profess any faith but also one's right to act on the basis of one's beliefs.

He said it was the duty of the international community "to confirm and support the freedom of Christians, just as other believers, to express their faith in political, economic and cultural life, in public debates, and through the media."

He pointed out "increasingly frequent attempts to mishandle Christian buildings and other sites of worship and symbols relating to Christianity and other religions."


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