“No need” to improve relations with Muslims claims head of Russian Orthodox Chruch

Patriarch Kirill and Sheikh-ul-Islam Pashazadeh meeting earlier this year

Patriarch Kirill and Sheikh-ul-Islam Pashazadeh meeting earlier this year

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has this week stated that he believes there is no need to improve relations between Muslims and Orthodox Christians because their relationship is already good.

The statement came during a press conference held in Moscow, in which Patriarch Kirill addressed Russian press and answered questions from journalists.

“There is no need to improve relations between the Orthodox and the Muslim world. Because the relations are pretty good” he told APA’s Moscow correspondent.

He went on to mention the warm relationship that he believes exists between Caucasian Muslims and Orthodox Christians, noting his church’s cooperation with chairmen of the Caucasian Muslim Board, Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh, as one example.

The Patriarch also talked about the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the efforts being made by Christians and Muslims to find peace.

Many people however disagree with the religious leader’s statement, noting rising acts of Islamaphobia in Russia and the Caucasus and changing attitudes towards Muslims held by many Russians as a sign that the situation is in fact worsening.

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