CWN - The Moscow Patriarchate’s chief ecumenical officer praised a non-sectarian class in religions in Russia’s schools and called for the course’s extension beyond fourth grade.

“If our children do not know religious teachings, they can involuntarily become an easy prey for terrorists,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, said in an interview with Ekaterina Gracheva of the television station Russia-24.

“We must always remember that terrorism cannot be motivated by religion,” he continued, though “there are people who cover their criminal acts with religious rhetoric.”

After stating that Orthodox children should learn about Islam, and Muslim children should learn about Orthodoxy, the prelate criticized the “anti-religious ideology which is always gaining more ground in the West,” where “the revolution of man against God is in substance propagated and encouraged” in “a variety of modes and images.”

First, said Metropolitan Hilarion, comes the rejection of God, or the idea that one can choose or not choose to believe in God; then comes the idea that one can choose one’s gender, rather than accepting one’s God-given sex as male or female.

 
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Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

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Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

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