CWN - The Moscow Patriarchate’s chief ecumenical officer praised a non-sectarian class in religions in Russia’s schools and called for the course’s extension beyond fourth grade.

“If our children do not know religious teachings, they can involuntarily become an easy prey for terrorists,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, said in an interview with Ekaterina Gracheva of the television station Russia-24.

“We must always remember that terrorism cannot be motivated by religion,” he continued, though “there are people who cover their criminal acts with religious rhetoric.”

After stating that Orthodox children should learn about Islam, and Muslim children should learn about Orthodoxy, the prelate criticized the “anti-religious ideology which is always gaining more ground in the West,” where “the revolution of man against God is in substance propagated and encouraged” in “a variety of modes and images.”

First, said Metropolitan Hilarion, comes the rejection of God, or the idea that one can choose or not choose to believe in God; then comes the idea that one can choose one’s gender, rather than accepting one’s God-given sex as male or female.

 
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Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The knowledge of the Cross is concealed in the sufferings of the Cross.

St. Isaac the Syrian