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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

Editor's choices
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.
VATICAN
Pope: Christians are persecuted and the world tries to hide itDuring the Angelus, Francis prayed for the victims of today's church massacres in Pakistan. Before the Marian prayer, he said that God "loves us, really love us, and loves us very much! This is simplest expression that sums up the whole Gospel, faith, and theology. God loves us freely and boundlessly." The pontiff also spoke about typhoon victims in Vanuatu. "I pray for the dead, the wounded and the homeless. I thank all those who reacted immediately to bring relief and aid." The pope also made a plea on behalf of persecuted Christians. "May the persecution against Christians, which the world is trying to hide, come to an end, and may there be peace."

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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