Topic: Russian Church
Chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Sergei Stepashin and Patriarch Kirill
Russia's Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society has called for setting up "a public system" in Russia that would "rule out insults to the religious feelings of believers."
"In condemning attempts by certain forces to sow discord in society and question the role of Orthodox tradition in shaping the identity of the Russian people, we state our readiness to act resolutely in national interests, defend Christian values and help promote national unity, civil peace and harmony in Russia," the Society said in a statement passed at a meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.
After "humiliating persecution and accusations," the people of Russia have a right to establish "a public system that would rule out insults to the religious feelings of believers," the Society said.
The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society was set up in 1882 by Emperor Alexander III to organize Russian pilgrims' journeys to sacred places including Palestine, Mount Athos and Bari, assist the Russian Orthodox Church's service abroad, do cultural and educational missionary work in the Middle East and study the historical heritage of Holy Land.
After the 1917 Revolution, the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society was closed, but a Russian Palestine Society was formed at the Academy of Sciences, which continued the traditional studies of the historical heritage of Holy Land.
The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society was registered again in May 1992 under its historical name. It has 18 regional branches and is chaired by Sergey Stepashin.
© Interfax. 29 November, 2012