(Interfax) – The Moscow Patriarchate is ready to promote the needs of religious minorities at Russian schools and in the army.
“I think that an Orthodox priest should help members of religious minorities (at school and in the army – IF) to find their way to their churches and pastors,” Head of the Synodal Church and Society Department Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said at a round table meeting in Moscow.
According to him, the Russian Orthodox Church believes that “people should be given an option” and comes out against “imposing the ideology obligatory for all.”
He quoted the standpoint of Hegumen Savva (Molchanov), Deputy Head of the Synodal Department for Relations with Armed Forces, who had stated earlier that the Orthodox chaplains had already helped soldiers of different confessions to contact their respective pastors.
Meanwhile, Father Vsevolod said that the presence of religious minority organizations at schools and in the army should be balanced with the number of their followers among students, soldiers and officers. He also called irrelevant “missionary actions aimed at the whole personnel of military units executed by organizations which have either one or two followers in such unit or none at all.”