Metropolitan Anthoniy (Pakanich) on the christian attitude towards elections

We must always remain human.

Local elections will be held on the territory of Ukraine in the coming days. In connection with this event, I would like to remind our Orthodox brothers and sisters of a number of important things.

Politics, whether we like it or not, affects everyone in one way or another: clergy and laity, men and women, religious and non-religious, politically active and disenchanted.

At the same time, it is often very difficult for us to contain our emotions. Sometimes we are divided not only by opposing political views, but also by burning hatred. Is it worth explaining how murderous this passion is? And yet, in the days of special political activity, it is difficult to protect yourself from it if you stop controlling your feelings and let everything go by itself.

Due to the fact that we give free rein to our feelings, a lot of problems occur: a thoughtless fascination with any candidate, and then – severe disappointment in his/her activities, an insane fascination with political currents, due to which we begin to see the enemy in our neighbors – sometimes even among friends and family members. Sometimes close people do not speak for years due to political quarrels.

The reason for these problems is that we do not control our emotions. Therefore, soberness is more important here than ever. If we choose candidates, then our selection criteria should not be promises, but concrete deeds. We must take into account how a person relates to the Church, how much he/she knows how to keep his/her word, how moral he/she is and how independent he/she is in making decisions. And no emotions should close our eyes. In general, politics and emotions should not stand side by side if we want to remain Christians.

It is also worth remembering that this earthly life is temporary, that our true fatherland is the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, it’s not worth relying too much on earthly temporal power. As the psalm says: «Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation». In all our hopes, we must first of all trust in the Lord, and with him – nothing is terrible.

But the most important thing is that no matter what happens, no matter what events grips us, we must always remain human in relation to each other, we must always remain Christians.

Recorded by Natalia Goroshkova

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