Moscow, April 8, Interfax – The Russian Orthodox Church called Russians to implement the Christian mission.
“People’s Christian mission is their duty, objective and an appeal to national humility, self-restriction and sacrifice,” head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said at the international conference of Church and Society Relations held Friday in Moscow.
According to him, “if we understand this appeal and this mission, if the spiritual and moral revival of our people would not stop under the influence of external criticism or internal doubts, but still expands many times, we may as the Russian people again become a Christian nation living in the Holy Rus.”
Father Vsevolod mentioned that about one third of Russia’s population includes people who have “a certain religious experience, a well-developed religious literature, who pray in churches and at home and attend religious services at least sometimes.”
Thus, he continued, “it is incorrect to refer to Orthodox Russians as some minority which is within some statistical margin.”
Father Vsevolod stated that there were people, in particular in the West, who perceived Orthodoxy “as some romantic image of a dilapidated village church surrounded by birch-trees and serviced by a priest in a ragged robe.”
“It is quite wrong to choose Orthodox faith as a restricted area for spiritual relaxation,” Father Vsevolod emphasized.
According to him, Christianity is “an omnipresent flare which blesses everything, burns things that have to be burnt and melts people into a new creation,” and an attempt to push religion out of the social life and present it as “a provincial restricted area where a citizen of a large city may plunge once in a half year to release stress is a wrong attitude.”