Kalashnikov ‘Repented Killings’ in Letter to Church

Yes, the AK-47 (Avtomat Kalashnikova) has historically been the weapon of choice for terrorists and other evildoers. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined. Now, the Telegraph is reporting that,

The creator wrote a lengthy emotional letter to Russian Orthodox Church to repent in the months before his death in December.

Mikhail Kalashnikov presents the submachine gun named after him

The designer of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was apparently so racked with guilt that he sought solace from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to express remorse for those killed by his invention.

In a lengthy letter to Patriarch Kirill, Russia’s chief cleric, written just six months before his death in December Mikhail Kalashnikov described struggling with the “unbearable spiritual torment” of knowing the carnage the AK-47 rifle wreaked upon the world.

“My spiritual torment is unbearable. One and the same question: if my rifle killed people does that mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, 93 years of age, the son of a peasant, Christian and orthodox by faith, am responsible for people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?” He wrote.

Mr Kalashnikov, who died on December 23 at the age of 94, began designing weapons after being wounded in battle during the Second World War.

He later blamed the Nazis for prompting him to invent the AK-47, the assault rifle that sired a family of weapons that has been called Russia’s most successful global brand.

But while he was known to have expressed regret at how it had been misused, Mr Kalashnikov always publicly defended his invention, saying in successive interviews that he had designed it only to be used in defence of the country.

Born and bred in the Soviet Union, and later a national hero of the fiercely secular Communist state, Mr Kalashnikov was for most of his life an atheist.

But in his letter to Kirill, which was reproduced by the Russian daily Izvestia on Monday morning, the aging designer explained how he turned to God as he grew older.

Mr Kalashnikov wrote that he his conversion began with the sense of “excitement” he felt when he first entered a church at the age of 91, later being baptised into the Orthodox faith.

A spokesman for the Church said Patriarch Kirril had welcomed the letter and even written a reply.

“This letter was very welcome at a time of attacks on the Church. The Patriarch thanked the legendary designer for his attention and position and answered that Mikhail Timofeevich was himself an example of patriotism and appropriate attitude to the country,” Patriarch Kirill’s spokesman Alexander Volkov told the paper.

And he added that from the Church’s point of view Mr Kalashnikov had little to repent for, at least as far as his invention is concerned.

“The Church has a very definite position: when weapons serve to protect the Fatherland, the Church supports both its creators and the soldiers who use it,” Volkov said.

“He invented that weapon for the defence of the country, not for the use of Saudi Arabian terrorists,” he added.

Wikipedia has more on Lt Gen Mikhail Kalashnikov here.

 

Patriarch of Antioch Thanks Russian Church for Defending Christians in Middle East

On the Russian Orthodox Church website:

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Great Antioch and All the East sent a message to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, in which he expressed his gratitude for the efforts that the Russian Orthodox Church makes to defend Christians in the Middle East.

In his letter, His Beatitude Patriarch John X mentioned the celebration marking the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism Russia, which was held in Moscow, Kiev and Minsk with the participation of the Primates and representatives of all Local Orthodox Churches, saying in particular, “I was… so happy to see the brothers gathering about the holy Divine Altar and praising the Author of Life, Our Lord Jesus Christ who blessed Russia and the Russian People and granted this great nation all his heavenly blessings to be a true and sincere witness of Christendom. The baptism of Russia is not only an historical event, but it is also a concrete and lived reality that all people and nations can “come and see” (John 1:46) and praise the Lord Jesus Christ.”

According to His Beatitude, “with deep feeling of respect and appreciation” he read the Statement by Heads and Representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches Assembled for the Celebration of the 1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. The main theme of the joint statement is the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

“I consider it my duty to raise an Antiochian thankful voice to support and share every word of the released statement,” Patriarch John’s letter reads. “Truly, Christians are persecuted and damaged in the Middle East, in the land of Jesus Christ. The salvation of Syria and of all the Middle East comes, as mentioned, through the logic of dialogue and peaceful political settlement. Extremism, fundamentalism and blind radicalism are the most great dangers which threaten not only the Christian presence, but the existence of the States and the peace of all the nations.”

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Great Antioch and All the East expressed his wish to pay a brotherly visit to the Russian Orthodox Church and said in conclusion of his letter, “May Lord, Jesus Christ, the King of Peace give us His Divine Peace, grant you, the Russian Synod and the Russian People His heavenly blessings and bless the efforts of all the orthodox world to settle the peace in the Middle East and in all the world redeemed by the precious blood of our Savior.”

 

Putin: Defender of Christians Worldwide

Vladimir Putin has urged the world’s political leaders to stop the violent persecutions against Christians that have erupted in many Middle Eastern countries.

LifeSiteNews reports:

Speaking at a meeting with Orthodox Christian leaders in Moscow last week, the Russian President said he noted “with alarm” that “in many of the world’s regions, especially in the Middle East and in North Africa inter-confessional tensions are mounting, and the rights of religious minorities are infringed, including Christians and Orthodox Christians.”

“This pressing problem should be a subject of close attention for the entire international community,” Putin said. “It is especially important today to make efforts to prevent intercultural and interreligious conflicts, which are fraught with the most serious upheavals.”

Putin praised the growth of cooperation between the Orthodox Churches and the Russian state, saying, “We act as genuine partners and colleagues to solve the most pressing domestic and international tasks, to implement joint initiatives for the benefit of our country and people.”

The Russian Federation recently passed legislation making it illegal to promote homosexuality as normal, a move that, while condemned by many European leaders, was strongly supported by the Orthodox Church.

Putin added Thursday that the Church was giving Russians a moral compass when so many were looking for help. “Today when people are once again searching for moral support, millions of our compatriots see it in religion,” he said. “They trust the wise, pastoral word of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

He added that it was the Church that was ultimately responsible for the development and rise of “culture and education” in Russia over the last 1,000 years. “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped it turn into one of the largest world powers,” Putin said.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, said at the same meeting that the attempts to push Christians out of Syria would lead to a “civilization catastrophe.” Kirill and other Orthodox leaders have been critical of the lack of response to the crisis facing Christians in the Middle East by US and other Western leaders…

Rest here.

An unlikely voice indeed…

 

Russians. Stop Having So Much Fun

The Patriarch has spoken.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has urged Russians to have less fun and spend more of their free time in seclusion.

On July 11, Kirill said there was “more fun than needed” in the life of Russians.

He said people spent a lot of their energy working and should occupy their time in isolated, quiet places instead of celebrating during their vacations.

He cited the rugged archipelago of Valaam, close to the border with Finland, as a suitable holiday destination. (Valaam is home to a 14th-century monastery and has a population of roughly 600.)

The ultraconservative patriarch, who is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has not hesitated to speak his mind on a number of other issues in the past…

 

Russian Patriarch Tells European Leader: Same-sex Marriage is Sinful

In a meeting with the secretary general of the Council of Europe, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized that same-sex marriage is sinful.

“If people choose such lifestyle, this is their right, but the Church’s responsibility is to say that this is a sin in the face of God,” Patriarch Kirill told Thorbjørn Jagland.

Saying that he was heartened by the popular demonstrations against same-sex marriage in France, Patriarch Kirill lamented that through same-sex marriage, “the sin is justified by law for the first time in the entire history of mankind.”

Source

 

 

Patriarch Kirill with his Spiritual father

You see, even Patriarchs, the spiritual leaders of the Church, have spiritual fathers to confess their sins and ask for guidance! None is perfect or sinless!

Source

 

Patriarch Kirill Urges Christian Bloggers to Stop Insulting Each Other

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said that the diversity of ideas inherent in church circles sometimes assumes absurd forms in the Internet environment.

“In the web space groups of church liberals and conservatives are appearing that are not looking for the truth, divine truth but a means of finding fault, stinging each other. This is a very sad tendency,” he said at a diocesan assembly in Moscow ahead of New Year.

He said that divisions and feuds within the church “are evidence of infantility, childishness in faith which sometimes assumes ruffian forms.”

“But if for the media format of contacts such phenomena are quite natural as they comply with modern ideas of the freedom of though, they are deeply alien to our centuries-old church tradition, as they are alien to the very spirit of Evangelical teaching,” the Patriarch said.

Source

 

Patriarch Kirill Sorts Out the Holy Sepulcher’s Debt

The Russian Patriarch is a powerful and influential man, make no doubt about it…

The conflict over unpaid water bills of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been resolved, the spokesman for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.

“The Holy Sepulchre Church’s water debts have been written off, not without the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church after Patriarch Kirill met with Israeli President Shimon Peres,” Deacon Alexander Volkov said on Wednesday while summing up the five-day visit by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to the region.

Volkov, who heads the Patriarch’s press service, added that the news was announced by Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov at his meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Russian Church’s Department of External Church Relations.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which has for centuries been one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for millions of Christians as the purported site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, earlier in November threatened to close its doors as its bank account was frozen over a debt to an Israeli water company.

The church had been exempt from water charges in a tacit agreement with Jerusalem authorities for decades but the Hagihon company, which took over water supply to Jerusalem in the late 1990s, recently demanded payment of a $2.3 million bill dating back 15 years, including interest.

Volkov said the Israeli authorities have written off the Holy Sepulchre Church’s water debt for the past seven years…

Patriarch Kirill arrived in Jerusalem on November 9. It was his first visit to the Holy Land since he was elected to head the Russian Orthodox Church in 2009. During his stay, the Patriarch visited Christian holy sites in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. He also met with Peres and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

 

Israel Will Do Everything for Orthodox Believers – Peres

OBL News:

Jerusalem – Israeli President Shimon Peres said he will always remember Russia’s exceptional role in the victory over fascism.

“I will never forget that Russia together with the allies emerged victorious from World War II, paying the dearest price for the victory – the lives of 30 million citizens who dealt the strongest blow on Nazi Germany and saved the world from a disaster,” Peres told Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Sunday.

“Therefore, the Red Army deserves the highest praise and honor. That war demonstrated vivid cooperation between the United States, Europe and Russia. Russia indeed saved the world from total annihilation. We will never forget that Russia saved our people, putting an end to gas chambers and crematoriums,” Peres said.

One third of the Jewish people perished in World War II, he said. About half a million Jews served in the Red Army and about 250,000 of them were killed in battles and 160,000 got high military awards and ranks, he said.

Israel profoundly respects the Russian Orthodox Church and other religions, he also said.

“We want to guarantee the safety of this religion, so Orthodox believers could pray according to their canons and rules. We will do everything we can for that and for ensuring their physical and spiritual peace,” he said.

The Russian Patriarch said that Russian-Israeli relations have reached “the highest point in the Israeli state’s history, which is largely due to political change observed in the late 20th century.”

No other non-Slavic country has so many people speaking the Russian language, he said. Following the “wise decision” to scrap visas between Russia and Israel, the number of Russian pilgrims has reached hundreds of thousands, Patriarch Kirill said.

 

Jerusalem Meets Russian Patriarch Kirill

Plenty of photos here.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who arrived in Jerusalem on Friday, was accompanied by a solemn procession of clerics and laypeople on his way from the Jaffa Gate to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre inside the Old City.

Thousands of believers gathered in front of the church, which is the holiest site for Christians across the world, to greet Patriarch Kirill and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, who met him. The two patriarchs held a short divine service.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has for centuries been one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for millions of Christians as the purported site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Patriarch Theophilos III addressed Patriarch Kirill, for whom it is the first visit to the Holy Land since he was elected to head the Russian Orthodox Church in 2009, with a solemn speech, in which he noted the importance of brotherly relations between the two Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Kirill said each Christian dreams of visiting the Holy Land. “For the first time I have come to the Holy Land to offer prayers on behalf of the entire Russian Church that chose me as its Primate,” the patriarch said, adding that he will in particular pray for peace around the world. During his six-day stay, Patriarch Kirill is expected to visit Christian holy sites in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre earlier in November threatened to close its doors as its bank account was frozen over a debt to an Israeli water company. The church had been exempt from water charges in a tacit agreement with Jerusalem authorities for decades but the Hagihon company, which took over water supply to Jerusalem in the late 1990s, recently demanded payment of a $2.3 million bill dating back 15 years, including interest.

Theophilos III even wrote letters to the leaders of Russia, Israel, the United States, Greece, Cyprus and Jordan with an appeal to intervene with the standoff and put a stop “to this flagrant act against the church.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the presidential administration will thoroughly study Theophilos’s request for help.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem shares control of the church with the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Roman Catholic Franciscan Order through complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. The site, located within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem, attracts more than 1 million pilgrims annually.

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