Thursday, August 16, 2007

North Caucasus mufti: attempts to confine the Russian Orthodox Church to parishes are dangerous

15 August 2007, 12:21

Moscow, August 15, Interfax - Attempts to tear the Church away from Russian society and to accuse it of clericalism present a threat to the future of the country, believes Magomed Mazhigov of the Muslim Coordinating Center for North Caucasus.

‘Religion, at least in Russia, has always been more than just faith in God. The entire, I stress, the entire cultural tradition in Russia is based on religious symbols and on the teaching of Jesus Christ who is revered by Muslims as a Prophet, peace be to Him’, he writes in an article published by Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Wednesday.

According to the mufti, the problem is that the boundaries ‘where things spiritual come in touch with things secular are obscure and not stated clearly in the laws’.

‘This is exactly what gives atheists an opportunity for using this failure for their own purposes’, Mazhigov said, commenting on the recent ‘letter of the ten’.

He also noted that atheism and militant materialism are essentially ‘the same religion, a spiritual faith in the nothing which comes after death’.

The North Caucasus muftiate spokesman is convinced that a true believer who has a fear of God ‘cannot be socially dangerous whatever confession he may belong to’.

‘Therefore, any restriction imposed on the religious and therefore highly spiritual education will inevitably lead to a total disorientation in all areas of human life to prevail ultimately in the heads of the younger generation, even if they are not taught atheism as a separate discipline’, the article reads.

In conclusion the author says that ‘the choice is narrow: it is either spirituality and moral fulfillment, family values and respect for old people, charity and aid to the weak or emptiness’.


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