'Wicked Forces Seek to Crush Russia Because She Believes in Christ' - Head of the Russian Church (VIDEO)

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

In a sermon given at an important Liturgy on Sunday, the head of the Russian church spoke boldly about the spiritual context of Russia's current conflict with Europe and the US.

"Today Russia is a powerful state, and it is unlikely that anyone will try to deprive us of our freedom and independence by force of arms. But in our wicked age there are many other ways to crush people, to deprive them of their national consciousness, to deprive them of their faith, to deprive them of their patriotism."

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"We know that many forces are working today to do just that to affect our people and our country. Why? Because we continue to be different. In 'enlightened' Europe, faith in God is banished, educated people are ashamed to admit that they are believers, and that is a fact. But in our country, which has gone through years of godlessness and persecution, the faith of Christ is being strengthened in people. God grant that it will be so.

May our authorities, our army, our intelligentsia and all our people keep the faith in the Lord, the Orthodox faith, by which Russia has always been strong."

Patriarch Kirill's remarks were part of a powerful sermon which pulled no punches, demonstrating that the current conflict with the West is one of a long history of Russia being attacked from abroad and always winning against unlikely odds because of her faith in, and appeals to, God.

The sermon was part of lengthy services and celebrations of Russia's most important saint, St. Sergius of Radonezh. GO has a detailed description of the event here, with more video and images, and a full transcript of the sermon.

The Patriarch has been outspoken in giving patriotic sermons directly referring to the conflict in Ukraine, rallying the Russian public to understand the spiritual nature of the conflict, between a Christian Russia, and an anti-Christian world elite bent on destroying Christianity.

The role of the Patriarch in Russian society and politics is not well understood outside of Russia, partially because non-Orthodox countries have no institutions similar to the Patriarchate. In fact, the head of the church is one of the most influential figures in the country. For a more detailed explanation of the unique role of the Patriarch see here.

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