Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill Gives Greek Prime Minister a Dressing Down in Tense Meeting

By on April 13, 2015

The openly atheist Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, held on Thursday a “tense meeting” with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Kirill told Tsipras that only a “spiritual base” can bring social justice to a nation.

After congratulating Tsipras on his election victory in January, Kirill said:

“I hope that your government will do all it can to preserve the spiritual foundations and morality of your people.”

He added: “Don’t forget that being Christian is not a political stance,” and said that only a “spiritual base” could deliver true social justice in a country.

Tsipras replied by thanking Kirill for taking the time to “do some research on my personal convictions.”

Tsipras was sworn in on January 26 after winning the elections with his left-wing Syriza party, and became Greece’s first openly atheist leader. At the ceremony he broke from tradition and decided to take a civil, rather than a biblical oath.

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