'Evil Forces Seek to Deprive People of Faith, Patriotism, National Identity' - Head of Russian Church Assails Globalism

Speaking at celebrations this past weekend commemorating Russia's most important saint, the head of the Russian church stood against globalism, referring to global forces trying to destroy nationhood and Christianity, and not just in Russia.

From the sermon:

"Today Russia is a powerful state, and it is unlikely that anyone will try to deprive us of our freedom and independence by force of arms. But in our wicked age there are many other ways to crush people, to deprive them of their national consciousness, to deprive them of their faith, to deprive them of their patriotism.

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We know that many forces are working today to do just that to affect our people and our country. Why? Because we continue to be different. In "enlightened" Europe, faith in God is banished, educated people are ashamed to admit that they are believers, and that is a fact. But in our country, which has gone through years of godlessness and persecution, the faith of Christ is being strengthened in people. God grant that it will be so.

May our authorities, our army, our intelligentsia and all our people keep the faith in the Lord, the Orthodox faith, by which Russia has always been strong."

The role of the Patriarch in Russian society and politics is not well understood outside of Russia, partially because non-Orthodox countries have no institutions similar to the Patriarchate. In fact, the head of the church is one of the most influential figures in the country. For a more detailed explanation of the unique role of the Patriarch see here.

Photos from the ceremonies: