The Patriarch insists on the right of believers to religious monuments confiscated during the Soviet years

Moscow. 17 Feb. INTERFAX – Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill said about the importance of the return of Churches religious monuments.

“Among the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church is a huge part of the monuments, many of which in the years of militant atheism was forcibly taken from the possession of the faithful and turned into what was considered appropriate for the authorities”, – said the Patriarch at the session of the Supreme Church Council on Friday in Moscow.

According to him, some of these objects turned into museums – they were in the minority, “and some were used purely utilitarian: workshops, barns, warehouses, granaries, and God knows what.”

“Irrefutable historical fact is that religious people largely created the cultural heritage of our country, thousands of works of art – churches and monasteries. The return of the right to self-store their shrines cannot bear any threats, but only to breathe authentic life into monuments that will further make them a means of national education”, – said the Primate.

In addition, he continued, it would be a “continuation of the works of many worthy of Museum employees with the personal participation of many of them.”

The Patriarch said that participants of the meeting will discuss the issue connected with activity of the expert Council on Church art, architecture and restoration, “which should be an important element in ensuring the preservation of Church monuments.”