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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message of greetings to the organizers, participants and guests of the Global Conference of Human Fraternity that took place in Abu Dhabi on 3-4 February 2019.

Dear participants in the conference,

I extend my cordial greetings to all those who have gathered together in the capital of the United Arab Emirates to discuss major issues of interfaith cooperation. The very initiative to organize this international forum deserves full support, inasmuch as attention to the religious factor and understanding of importance of interaction between representatives of various religions is a sign of society’s maturity.

Regrettably, today we see that some unprincipled people often use religion to manipulate public conscience. Recourse to the religion-related rhetoric in order to justify terrorism or achieve political goals is a clear manifestation of sin that must be resolutely condemned by religious leaders and all people of good will.

The actions of extremists using religious slogans as a cover and clashes of geopolitical interests of various countries affected, in particular, the region of the Middle East and North Africa. In a number of countries religious and ethnic minorities have been subjected to real genocide. It caused enormous damage to the Christian presence there: hundreds of churches were destroyed and many families lost their homes and livelihood. Having no assurance of peaceful future, masses of people are leaving their homelands.

We, representatives of different religions, are called to help the suffering population of Syria, Iraq and other countries scorched by the war, and thus to demonstrate our commitment to the God-given moral ideals of love, peace, neighbourliness and mercy.

I wish fruitful discussions and beneficial brotherly meetings to all the participants in the conference.