Russian Patriarch urges foreign religious organizations to respect Russian laws

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has reminded foreign religious organizations active in Russia how important it is to demonstrate respect for the legislation of the country. "It is extremely important that religious organizations coming to Russia abide by Russian laws and see that their activities will not create difficulties for public life, or provoke ethnic tensions," Patriarch Kirill said at a press briefing after talks with the head of the Turkish Religious Directorate Ali Bardakoglu in Ankara.

There have never been religious wars in Russia's history and Christians have never fought against Muslims, he said. On the contrary, they have "lived side by side, going jointly through trials and times of joy," Patriarch Kirill said.

"If any of the foreign religious organizations want to destroy this peace, we will defend it," he said.

Patriarch Kirill said his warning referred not only to Muslims, but also to Christian denominations.