Tom Daley
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Pride Parades Caused Russia-Ukraine War, Says Russian Church Leader

Patriarch Kirill and Pres. Vladimir Putin

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is because of Western values, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church said in a sermon on Sunday.

Patriarch Kirill said that the war is about “which side of God humanity will be on:” the Western governments that allow or support Pride marches or their opponents, reports The Moscow Times.

“Pride parades are designed to demonstrate that sin is one variation of human behavior. That's why in order to join the club of those countries, you have to have a gay Pride parade,” Kirill said.

He added that Pride parades were a “loyalty test” to the West, which has been “fundamentally rejected” by the separatist republics in Ukraine.

“For eight years there have been attempts to destroy what exists in Donbas,” Kirill said, citing the separatist region that Ukraine has battled in since 2014.

“And in Donbas there is a rejection, a fundamental rejection of the so-called values that are offered today by those who claim world power,” he said, according to the outlet. “We know that if people or countries reject these demands, they are not part of that world, they become strangers to it.”

Kirill said Russia’s attacks on Ukraine were “far more important than politics.”

“If humanity accepts that sin is not a violation of God's law, if humanity accepts that sin is a variation of human behavior, then human civilization will end there,” he said.

The Moscow Times reports that the Russian Orthodox Church has been accused of supporting President Vladmir Putin and the government.

Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. He said it was to “demilitarize and denazify” the pro-Western country. 

Russia is notorious for its persecution of LGBTQ+ people. Russia infamously adopted a “gay propaganda” law in 2013, banning any mention of LGBTQ+ issues in venues accessible to minors. In recent years, Chechnya, a semi-autonomous region of Russia, has systematically persecuted LGBTQ+ people, especially gay men, jailing and torturing them, and outing them to intolerant family members, which puts them at risk of further violence. Some have been killed, and others have fled abroad.

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