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Politics and Religion

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Interactions between politics and religion began with the birth of politics. For centuries, this relationship continued to undergo metamorphoses, especially, at times, when either sphere attempted to dominate the other.

From the onset, religion has always been used as a tool by politicians to hold on to power. Out of the two means used to retain power, i.e. physical coercion or manipulation, the latter is beginning to play an increasingly significant role. And aside from social concepts meant to influence people’s conscience so that they support one political regime or another, there has been an increased focus on the importance of religion recently.

“Today the world sees unscrupulous politicians who tend to use religion as an instrument for manipulation of public conscience. The use of religion-linked rhetoric to justify terrorism or attain one’s political goals is a sin which must be resolutely condemned by spiritual leaders and all people of good will,” says the message sent by the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all of Russia to participants of the multi-faith Human Fraternity Meeting, held in the United Arab Emirates in February. Patriarch Kirill noted that the Middle East had seen “all forms of extremists, hiding behind religious slogans”, and it had also suffered from conflicts of geopolitical interests of various countries. The Patriarch emphasized that people of different religions were “called to help the suffering people of Syria, Iraq, and other war-torn countries by demonstrating a firm commitment to God-given moral ideas of love, peace, good neighborly relations and mercy.”

During the session on Russia’s policy in the Middle East at the Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club (in Sochi on 2 October 2019), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov said that persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East and North Africa was a topic that had........

© New Eastern Outlook