Dying for your country brings you to heaven, says Russian Patriarch


Eastern Europe


Patriarch Kirill (2nd l.) of Moscow and All Russia addresses Russian servicemen. Photo EPA, Alexei Nikolsky

Russian soldiers who die in the fight for their country will go to heaven, says Patriarch Kirill. He did so after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilisation in the war against Ukraine.

"Be brave and fulfil your military duty", the Patriarch said, as reported by Dagen. Kirill has been known for his support of the invasion since its start. Thus, he also supports partial mobilisation, as announced by Putin.

The opinion about mobilisation differs among Russians. Many try to leave the country as quickly as possible, while others have already been drafted into the army.

Kingdom, glory and eternal life

In a church service, the Patriarch stressed that Russians should not be afraid of dying due to the mobilisation. "Remember that if you die for your country, you will be with God in His kingdom, in glory and with eternal life", he said, according to press agency NEXTA. The Patriarch also stated that self-sacrifice, as that of soldiers who are killed in the war, "washes away all the sins that a person has committed." That is reported by Die Tagespost.

Furthermore, Kirill called the Russians not to see Ukrainians as their enemies. Instead, he believes that Russians and Ukrainians belong to the same people and that Ukrainians need to be liberated from their leadership.

The Patriarch did not say anything about the war crimes the Russian soldiers committed in Ukraine. News about mass graves, rape of women and children, and police violence against protestors who oppose the war went viral.

Kirill calls the Russian invasion of Ukraine a "fratricidal war" without mentioning any country names. He said that the Church prays that "this battle will end as soon as possible, so that as few brothers as possible kill each other", Katholisch.de writes.


A German theologian, Natallia Vasilevich, calls the Patriarch's statements blasphemous. That is reported by Religion.orf. She points out that Kirill is probably the first one "to compare the sacrifice of a soldier on the battlefield in loyalty to his state with the salvation sacrifice of Christ Himself", referring to another statement of the Patriarch, recorded by IRP. There, Kirill cited John 3. The head of the Moscow Patriarchate linked the sentence "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" to members of the army "who are sent into the war to kill."



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