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» 03/27/2012
RUSSIA - GREAT BRITAIN
For Russian Orthodox Church, cross ban in workplace is a form of totalitarianism
by Nina Achmatova
Metropolitan Hilarion criticises the decision of the British government to defend ban on religious symbols in the workplace before Strasbourg court. Russian priest says one of her parishioners was fired for wearing a cross that was not visible.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Moscow Patriarchate deplores the ban in Great Britain on wearing religious symbols in the workplace, describing it as a manifestation of totalitarianism.

"Those Western liberals who are actually forcing totalitarian regime standards on free people are making a big mistake," said Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, on Rossiya 24 television.

These people have not gone through reprisals against the Church "and therefore they do not know what it feels like when your cross is being ripped off your neck," he added.

The Metropolitan said he had had an experience of living in Britain and he could see "liberal and Anarchist patterns spreading fast in the public space."

Recently, British courts have given employers the right to fire workers who wear crosses on their clothes.

The British government wants to defend the ban on wearing crosses at work in the European Court of Human Rights, which is set to examine four cases brought by British citizens.

They include that of Nadia Eweida (pictured), a British Airways employee who was suspended for wearing a cross on a plane, in violation of company policy.

Ms Eweida has taken her case to Strasbourg. For David Cameron's government, which backs the airliner, wearing a cross is not a compulsory element of the Christian faith.

"The introduction and even a discussion of such standards looks like a symptom of some madness or extreme moral decay," Hilarion said, adding that believers will never put up with this and will fight.

Archpriest Mikhail Dudko, the sacristan of the Russian Assumption Cathedral in London, said recently that one of his parishioners, a woman, lost her job for wearing a cross at work, even though it was not visible.


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See also
08/06/2012 GREAT BRITAIN - ASIA
London Olympics 2012: A comeback for faith, in a country that has banned religious symbols
01/31/2011 RUSSIA
Catholics increasingly present in Russia society, apostolic nuncio says
by Nina Achmatova
11/22/2005 RUSSIA
Russian monk preaches online
09/17/2010 VATICAN – GREAT BRITAIN
Respect and reciprocity among religions needed, Pope says
12/18/2008 TURKEY - RUSSIA
Bartholomew I: Turkish bureaucracy is trying to make us disappear
by NAT da Polis

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Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
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Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

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