Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 January 2008

13 January 2008. A Thought from Fr Vsevolod…

A World Conference on Mission and Evangelism was held in Salvador, Brazil. As the curtain fell, one of the groups suddenly inserted these words in a document to be adopted by a plenary session… “God created people different, black and white, male and female, heterosexual and homosexual. All this is the richness of God’s image in the human being”. Only representatives of our Church protested. I was astonished most of all at the silence of the Greek bishops… One of our young woman delegates spoke and no reaction followed. Archbishop John of Belgorod joined her with the same result. Then, I took a clean sheet of paper, wrote a few words of protest on it, rose up and said, “I appeal to those who don’t agree with this wording. Let’s sign this paper and leave this conference”. Now, the officers began to stir. They quickly gathered a conciliatory group with me as a member. Finally, the monstrous phrase was deleted. It didn’t end at that, though. When I was coming out of the hall, I saw several lesbian activists gathered outside. They came up to me and stated with tears in their eyes that those like me crucified Christ and burnt Jews in gas chambers. I tried to tell them something about the Holy Scriptures and its moral truths, while they cited to me the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They were “Christian workers”, though. However, do they really need the Bible? For them, the basic criterion of faith is public opinion, sealed in law at best. In a word, the truth is what we like. If it’s accepted by society, you dare not let out a peep in protest. They wouldn’t crucify Christ. They would simply put him in prison for “extremism” and forbid the Jews to wear plaits so that they wouldn’t propagate masculinity and religious fanaticism.

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin

Deputy Head of the MP Department of External Church Relations



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