Kirill
© Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
Patriarch Kirill
A war is being waged against traditional religions. It goes on in cities and villages, in information space and, most importantly, in the minds of the people, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, warned.

"Enormous resources are being used for information wars nowadays. We, religious figures, are accustomed to constant attacks. The forces of evil never give up on attempts to smear those, who dedicated their lives to serving God," the Patriarch said as he took the stage at the Summit of World Religious Leaders in Baku.

The most alarming thing is that the younger generation is the one being made to fight on the frontlines of this war. The recruiters of the extremist groups take advantage of their lack of experience and willingness to defend their ideals at all cost, Kirill pointed out.

Kirill Aliyev
© Russia's Orthodox Church / Igor Palkin
Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, Patriarch Kirill and other guests of the forum in Baku.
Quite often, the youths know very little not just about other religions, but also about their own traditions. This lack of awareness, coupled with the crisis of traditional values in the modern world, plays so well into the hands of the terrorists.

The current secular paradigm is all about success, wealth and pleasure. Religious people can't help but reject those "false values", and that's where the extremist recruiters come in, trying to fill this void.

"But it doesn't mean that we should idly look at how our energetic and prodigious youth allows shady people to deceive and exploit them," the head of the Orthodox Church told his counterparts.

All religious leaders, no matter of their faith, must not only reject and condemn radicalism, but also foster respect towards such "unshakable" traditional values like family, marriage, respect for the elders, for religion and for the religious choice of a person in the society.

Orthodox
© Russia's Orthodox Church / Igor Palkin
Coming together is the only way for clerics from different countries to influence the problems plaguing the world nowadays.

"Our voice will become persuasive - only if it's aligned and unified," Kirill said.

The two-day event in the Azerbaijani capital has gathered high-ranking clerics from 70 countries, representing world's 25 traditional religions, as well as hundreds of other guests, including politicians, scholars and public figures. They're discussing interfaith cooperation, joint actions to tackle terrorism and xenophobia and other problems faced by religion in the modern world.