“It is surprising that today Russian and European civilizations have exchanged their roles in a certain sense. The Soviet Union was the country of the official state atheism, while all of us perceived the West as the Christian region,” the hierarch said on air of his program Church and the World on Rossiya 24 television.
According to him, now it is quite the contrary: faith and the Church are revived in Russia, new churches are being built, monasteries and theological schools are open, while “religiosity is decreasing in the West, churches are closed, some church buildings are just sold.”
“Secularism and atheism have in fact become a new ideology of the Western Europe. Certainly, the Church is not persecuted there the way it was persecuted here in the Soviet times when churches were blown up and destroyed. But ideology of modern secular Europe practically excludes the Church and religion from the public sphere, so you can be religious as a private person, but your religiosity should not influence your public role, your professional activities,” the metropolitan said.
He also believes that religious revival in Europe will go through “being drunk with freedom, with permissiveness and people will understand what it leads to and start coming back to their Christian roots.”