The Russian Orthodox Church urges believers to pray for settling current military and political confrontation between Russia and the USA around Syria.
“I recommend to pray so that the Lord grants wisdom to authorized people and they feel responsibility for the future of their nations and the whole humanity. To pray so that leaders of superpowers immediately sit at a negotiations table. Today there is a threat not only to Syria, but to the whole world. And each person should spare no effort to escape the tragedy of World War III,” head of the Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion told Interfax-Religion.
According to him, the world turned in ‘a powder keg’ long ago. The hierarch reminded about the Caribbean crisis of 1962 that could have resulted in an atomic war and not so well-known events of 1983, when the Russian notification system mistakenly informed our military base about nuclear missile attack.
“If Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov who was in chief had believed the computer and reported to his commanders about rockets allegedly launched by the USA, there would have been a ‘response’ attack. However, Petrov did not act according to the instruction, he acted as his heart told him. Eventually, millions lives were saved. However, the situation could have been different if someone else was at his place,” the metropolitan said.
He believes that both incidents show how fragile our world is. “Today just a simple accident can not only kill millions of people, but to exterminate the life on Earth,” the hierarch warns.
He urged not to forget ‘terrific lessons’ of World War I when each country hoped to solve its problems with its help, but none of the problems were settled, no country won the victory.
“We should not allow World War III to happen. Any peace-making initiative is welcomed, from politicians, religious leaders and ordinary believers. If we cannot help with our work, let us help with prayer”, Metropolitan Hilarion said.
As to the Christians, according to the metropolitan, they should hope for God, hope for His mercy. “The Church prays ‘for the peace of the whole world’ at each liturgy and believes that such prayer will be heard,” the hierarch summed up.