Peace in Eurasia
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank you for your kind invitation and to apologize for not being word-perfect in English. I am honored to have the possibility to intervene briefly on a topic that has a particular place in my heart: "Peace in Eurasia. The possible contribution of the Orthodox Churches". My purpose is not to have a scientific overview of the topic, but to offer a small contribution on deepening it.
There are several reasons for this choice.
1. First of all, most orthodox Christians live in the Eurasian continent.
2. Over the last thirty years almost all countries of orthodox tradition have undergone profound changes, lived or still living the drama of war.
3. The task of the Orthodox Christian Church is to announce Jesus Christ, the only true Peace. The prayers of the Divine Liturgy begin with the invocation of peace. The Orthodox Christian Church has historically favored the promotion of human dignity and people’s civilization. Saints Cyril and Methodius, who recently have been celebrated, provide a shine example of it. And also Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen, whose feast follows soon.
Our Orthodox Christian Church today can still say a lot about the development of the human person and the affirmation of peace in the world.
Wars, undoubtedly, disturb our Christian conscience. But they disturb mostly when they are waged against orthodox brothers.
For this reason, I believe that Orthodox churches can offer their own contribution to peace. Peace between Orthodox, but also peace in the Eurasian continent and, if possible, in the world.
First, Orthodox people should have the conscience to belong to the same nation, because the common identification, as it was until recently, was faith and not language.
Modern wars are also very different from those of the past, in many ways much more insidious and effective than those we have read in school in history books. They are economic wars, cultural wars, asymmetric wars.
We have an example from the manual in the Republic of Moldova and witness it every day. It has suffered, like most of our countries, an economic attack. The economic crisis forced half of the population, mostly young, to emigrate. To do what? Almost all of them became despised slaves of a foreign and hostile country, which exploits them. There will pass, I fear, many decades before the Republic of Moldova can repair the damage of this war.
The same can be said of Greece, Russian Federation, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Georgia. Someone said that this is due to phenomena of poor internal management. In my opinion, we cannot do much regarding external subjects interested in destabilizing, who also use internal subjects, conscious and not conscious. Many of the last ones are Orthodox Christians, who collaborate in the disasters we are witnessing. Such disasters are made possible by the collaboration of masses of unconscious people.
There is a need for action on the last ones. How? By carrying out a work of awareness; to realize the real causes of the situation, the consequences of their acts, the serious social and ethical problems that need to be addressed. Something, in my opinion, can and should do the orthodox churches.
1. First, raise awareness about these problems among uninformed internal subjects. Understand how some behaviors are incompatible with Orthodox Christian faith and ethics.
2. It is necessary to fight with anti-Christian propaganda, which denies human dignity. I am referring not to the actions of individuals, but to the pounding propagation against the Christian ethical models, carried out scientifically by those who control a great part of mass media.
3. Begin for example to say that it is not possible to approach the sacraments after killing Orthodox brothers, after acting against their own church, after acting against their homeland.
4. The Orthodox Christian Faith, our hope of salvation, is part of the identity of many of our countries. This identity represents an element of diversity and, at the same time, of wealth, which must be valorized. This, of course, in respect to other cultures, as it has been taught by our Lord Jesus Christ and our tradition.
If the Orthodox Christian Churches move in this direction, we will certainly not solve all the problems of the planet, but we will certainly have clean conscience that we did what we could. We will have contributed to loosening tensions in Eurasia and the world. We have offered the testimony of Jesus Christ, Light and Hope of the World.
It has rightly been observed that after the Cold War, we are now living the Fourth World War, made of asymmetric and local wars. The Orthodox Churches can help by avoiding this war from taking aspects of a civil war of the Orthodox nation. All the existing problems must find a solution based on justice, law and dialogue, without even resorting to the threat of using force.
When, sooner or later, we will be called in front of God Judge, it will be a not small consolation.
Chisinau, May 26th 2017
Father Nicola Madaro