CWNews.com - A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has charged that European leaders allow unrestricted criticism of religious beliefs, but do not give believers the same right to voice their opinions.

Abbot Philipp Ryabykh, the deputy director of ecumenical affairs for the Moscow patriarchate, told Interfax: "In the Western world the right to criticize every religious point of view is often claimed, but at the same time symbols of faith are censored and the religious approach to political and social life of citizens censored."

The Russian Orthodox spokesman was responding to a statement by Thorbjon Jagland, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, who said that criticism of religious "myths and ideas" should be acceptable in a democratic society. Abbot Ryabykh noted that religion "is relegated to the realm of mythology: an insult to people who believe." At the same time, he pointed out, religious ideas and symbols are being pushed out of public life.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Holy Angels

O Supreme Leaders of the heavenly armies, * we, who are unworthy, ever beseech you, * that through your prayers you may surround us * with the shelter of the wings of your immaterial glory, * watching over us who fervently fall down and cry out: * “Deliver us from perils, * for you are the commanders of the Powers on high!” (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.

O Supreme Leaders of the armies of God * and ministers of the Divine Glory, * princes of angels and guides of men, * ask for us what is expedient for us and for great mercy, * for you are the leaders of the Bodiless Hosts. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians