Metropolitan Hilarion: Western liberals make a grave mistake by imposing totalitarian standards on free people

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations, speaking during the weekly programme ‘The Church and the World’ on Russia 24 TV channel on March 24, 2012, commented on the British authorities’ decision to defend in the European Court of Human Rights the legitimacy of the corporate policy adopted by some British commercial companies to ban the wearing of baptismal crosses.

‘I very much regret such developments as happening in England. I myself used to live in that country and witnessed the way in which liberal and anti-Christian norms conquering ever greater areas in the public space. Because these people have not experienced persecution against the Church, they do not know what it is when your crosses are torn away from you’, he said. He also shared his own remembrances of how a teacher in the school he attended, having discovered a baptismal cross under his shirt, began to tear it off.

‘A grave mistake is made by today’s Western liberals who actually impose on free people the standards of totalitarian regime’, the DECR chairman said.

‘I believe it is a sign of some madness and extreme moral decay when such norms are not only introduced but even discussed. What is wrong with a cross worn on one’s neck? Who and how can it harm? Why one can wear beads, an amulet, an image of some variety singer but a believer cannot put on an underwear cross? We will never agree with it and will fight against it’, he said.