CWNews.com - A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has charged that European leaders allow unrestricted criticism of religious beliefs, but do not give believers the same right to voice their opinions.

Abbot Philipp Ryabykh, the deputy director of ecumenical affairs for the Moscow patriarchate, told Interfax: "In the Western world the right to criticize every religious point of view is often claimed, but at the same time symbols of faith are censored and the religious approach to political and social life of citizens censored."

The Russian Orthodox spokesman was responding to a statement by Thorbjon Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, who said that criticism of religious "myths and ideas" should be acceptable in a democratic society. Abbot Ryabykh noted that religion "is relegated to the realm of mythology: an insult to people who believe." At the same time, he pointed out, religious ideas and symbols are being pushed out of public life.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion)

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

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great