Church: Russia fighting 'holy battle' in Syria

Russian Orthodox Church strongly backs government's decision to deploy its airforce in Syria to attack ISIL

Church: Russia fighting 'holy battle' in Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russia's powerful Orthodox Church on Wednesday voiced support for Moscow's decision to carry out air strikes in Syria against the ISIL group, calling it a "holy battle".

"The fight with terrorism is a holy battle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it," said the head of the Church's public affairs department, Vsevolod Chaplin, quoted by Interfax news agency.

Chaplin explicitly said the Church backs Russia's decision to deploy its airforce in Syria to attack ISIL.

"This decision corresponds with international law, the mentality of our people and the special role that our country has always played in the Middle East," Chaplin said.

Chaplin said a council representing Russia's main religions -- Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism -- would release a joint statement on Russia's role in Syria.

"In this statement, we will support the decision that was taken by our government," Chaplin said.

Russia's Orthodox Church, after years of repression under the Soviets, has regained much of its influence and built up close ties with the government despite a formal separation of Church and state. President Vladimir Putin is regularly depicted attending services.

Last Mod: 30 Eylül 2015, 16:12
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