Havana, February 15, 2016
One needs to drastically change relations between Russia and the United States in order to prevent a global war, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"We need to do everything possible to engineer a drastic improvement in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. We need to realize that these are two major powers that have the military power to destroy each other and the whole world. A large-scale war should be averted at all costs. This is what I discussed with Pope Francis," Patriarch Kirill told the Russia Today TV channel after a meeting with Pope Francis in Havana.
"It could be God's design to bring us together at this juncture when dark clouds are gathering over Syria and when there is a threat of confrontation between countries with an immense destructive force," Patriarch Kirill said.
"We need to do everything possible to avert war. This is our number one priority for the Americans, the Russians and many other people with a sensible perspective on what is happening," he said.
He recalled that even during the 'Cold War' Christians of the Soviet Union and the U.S. found an opportunity to "meet and work together for a better future."
"We had intensive contacts with the U.S. Christian community, including delegation visits, conferences in an effort to work out a concerted Christian approach to the issues that divided the U.S. and the Soviet Union," Patriarch Kirill said.
"Why can't we do it today? Why have we moved so far apart? Most of the people in the U.S. are Christians who share the same values and belong to the same global Christian family as us. We should use this opportunity to build bridges, rather than deepen the divide that lies between us. Then this grassroots support coming from ordinary people, clergymen and religious institutions will forge an environment in our respective countries that will have a positive impact on those who shape foreign policy," he said.