Wire Service: AP
On August 4, 2004 the Associated Press reported, "The Russian Orthodox Church said Wednesday that it hopes to develop closer ties with the predominantly Islamic Persian Gulf region, the Interfax news agency reported. Metropolitan Kirill, who heads the church's foreign relations department, said the decision to boost cooperation is based on the shared Christian and Muslim belief that human rights should be founded on religious values. He made the announcement during a meeting with a Kuwaiti government delegation. 'We favor human rights from a Christian point of view,' he said, adding that some things that are considered sinful from a Christian and Muslim viewpoint are often seen as the norm in a secular, liberal view of human rights, Interfax reported. He didn't elaborate. Interfax said boosting cooperation will likely take the form of joint conferences. Last month, Kirill criticized the human rights movement in Russia, saying it was full of people who are fighting the nation's dominant church and who are more interested in getting Western grants than in serving their native land."