Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Faith in God should not be a quest for power because the Christian mission is not the liberation of a nation from the yoke of another, but the liberation of humanity from the lord of darkness. The pursuit of power in fact strains and leads to eternal death, says Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his Easter message.
In his note, the head of the Eastern Orthodox communion turns to the Gospel passage that refers to the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, who after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, mistakenly believed that he would gain temporal power, which would give them powerful positions.
"In our times," writes the ecumenical patriarch, "the drums of death and darkness beat frantically. Some fellow men believe that the eradication of other fellow men is a praiseworthy and beneficial act, but they are seriously mistaken. Unfortunately, the annihilation and suppression of the weakest by the strongest dominates in the secular pyramid of today's reality. Often we are shocked by the cruelty and lack of compassion exhibited by the powerful that hold the reins of the world, believing that they are actually the ones ruling it."
"Oftentimes in the history of humanity we see as prevailing forces the darkness of death, injustice over justice, hatred and envy over love, and we see that man chooses the infernal hatred over the light of the Resurrection. Despite the apparent technological progress of human societies, despite the declarations of human rights and religious freedom, racial and religious hatred swells universally and causes dangerous tensions, which exacerbate the dominion of the kingdom of death".
Unfortunately, the message goes on to say, people also fail to accept and tolerate their neighbours' beliefs, be they political, religious, ethnic and social.
"History," he notes, "has proven that real progress cannot exist without God", that "True freedom [. . .] is acquired only with our staying close to God."
The history of the 20th century tragically confirms this truth. Humanity experienced the horrors of the Second World War, which broke out in Central Europe, with millions of victims and widespread racial persecution.
Eastern Europe also experienced the horrors sown by self-styled progressive forces, who committed unspeakable crimes in the name of freedom.
For the patriarch, any political idea that does not include the truth of Christ brings death and ends in tragedy.
"To this dominance of the forces of darkness, the Church responds with the grace and power of the Risen Christ. He, Who took upon Himself the afflictions and infirmities of each man, offers to the world through His Resurrection also the certainty that death is vexed."
"Christ is risen".