By Kostas Onisenko
In an attempt to “correct” the Russian Church’s view on the persecution of Christian populations by the Ottomans, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk gave an interview.
A few weeks ago, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow said in an interview that there was no persecution of Christians during the Ottoman Empire. “Take for example the Ottoman Empire. Yes, there were Christian minorities, but no one exterminated them,” Kirill had said.
His remarks provoked strong reactions from all over Christendom, and during an interview, last Saturday on Россия 24, the Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, acknowledged that there had been the Armenian genocide and the Asia Minor Catastrophe.
His position was in response to a question, which apparently had nothing to do with Kirill’s previous position, and concerned his (Hilarion’s) view of Biden’s decision to recognize the Armenian genocide.
The channel’s journalist even wondered if the recognition decision was delayed. Hilarion’s answer was the following:
“I would say in this case: Better late than never because historical facts of this nature, sad as they are, must be recognized and things must be called by their name.
I do not think that anyone in Turkey will be harmed now by the fact that the obvious event of the tragedy that took place in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when more than one million Armenians fell victim to genocide in the Ottoman Empire, will be recognized internationally.
Like the Asia Minor catastrophe, which took place after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, when a few hundred thousand representatives of the Greek Diaspora were forced to move from Turkey to Greece – all these are sad, tragic events. There are similar events in our history “.