По благословению Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла




Interreligious Council of Russia: Letter to Mr. Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Interreligious Council of Russia

Mr. Thomas Hammarberg
Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe

Dear Mr. Hammarberg,

Please be informed that Russian sexual minorities are planning to hold a so-called pride parade this May in Moscow. You are well aware that it is not the first attempt to hold a public march of people of non-traditional sexual orientation in the Russian capital city. The earlier attempts ended in violent disorders.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that an overwhelming majority in Russian society do not believe homosexuality to be a norm in sexual relations. The unity in this matter is based on deeply-rooted moral perceptions of the traditional religions in Russia: Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. The faithful of these religions have been educated from times immemorial for the respect of traditional family, which is the union of man and woman.  We believe this attitude to marriage to be the only right one, while its distortions expressed among other things in homosexuality to be a sin damaging human dignity.

Our fellow-citizens are free to build in their own country a legal system that would not contradict their conscience. With all responsibility we state that the beliefs of most Russians exclude a public propaganda of such things as homosexuality, the legal recognition of the same-sex families in any form, the possibility for people of non-traditional orientation to adopt children and artificial promotion of a positive attitude in society including children towards sexual deviations through the education system and the mass media. Any coercion of our society's conscience in this matter is inadmissible and lawless.

The commitments of the Russian Federation under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms give our government the opportunity to reserve for itself the right to limit human rights for the protection of morals (Articles 8, 9, 10, 11). This Convention, just as other international agreements signed by the Russian Federation, does not and cannot determine the moral conceptions of our society. This is beyond the force of international law. We reject therefore the lawless attempt to export to Russia any amoral behaviour standards wrapped in legal form.

Unlike some European states, Russia is not responsible for the physical extermination of homosexuals. Our religious communities have treated those who have fallen in this sin with patience, offering them help and support in overcoming their illness. This sinful passion however, essentially destructive for any person, has never been encouraged. Therefore, we have consistently urged to abandon the propaganda of sinful distortions of human nature, which have been believed to be such for millennia.

The Preamble of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states that the aim of the Council of Europe is "the achievement of greater unity between its members". The traditional religions in Russia believe that good relations between our state and other European countries are a guarantee of peace and well-being of Europe. Therefore we ask you not to support the planned action of sexual minorities which can create a spiritual and value-orientated divide between Russia and the Council of Europe. We do not want to see an opinion establishing itself in Russia that the Council of Europe is an organization ready to support actions contrary to the religious beliefs of the Russian faithful and grossly trampling upon their conscience.


Pandido Khambo-Lama Damba AYUSHEV
Head of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha in Russia

Mufti Ismail-haji BERDIEV
Chairman, Coordinating Center for Muslims in Northern Caucasus

Mufti Sheikh Ravil GAINUTDIN
Chairman, Council of Muftis in Russia

Metropolitan KIRILL of Smolensk and Kaliningrad
Chairman, Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations

Chief Rabbi of Russia, Federation of Jewish Organizations in Russia

Supreme Mufti sheikh ul-Islam Talgat TAJUDDIN
Chairman, Central Muslim Board in Russia

Chief Rabbi of Russia, Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations
Прямая речь

«Мы несем ответственность за то, что происходит в этой цивилизации (Европе), на основании своего собственного исторического уникального опыта, через который не прошла ни одна европейская страна в XX веке. Это в нашей стране строилось общество без Бога. Мы знаем, что это за система. Исходя из этого, мы выражаем готовность участвовать в диалоге с Вами и со всеми заинтересованными силами в Европе для того, чтобы размышлять о нашем общем будущем»

(Встреча с генеральным секретарем Совета Европы Т.Ягландом, 21 мая 2013 года, Москва)


Патриарх Московский
и Всея Руси