MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced a terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport as “the horrifying scowl of sin,” and said actions once condemned even in war “are today becoming a form of protest.”
Patriarch Kirill I spoke after a service to mark the feast of St. Tatyana, which this year became an occasion to address growing ethnic tensions in Russia after a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and injured more than 150 at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Monday (Jan. 24).
While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, assailants in a number of previous terrorist attacks have been linked to a separatist movement in Chechnya and other republics of the troubled Northern Caucasus region.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is backed by the Kremlin, has been accused of human rights abuses and crushing Islamic militants, while supporting his own form of Islamic fundamentalism.
Ethnic tensions have been growing in Moscow in recent months, including anger over plans to build a new mosque in a southeastern district of the city. Muslim migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia have emigrated to the Russian capital, fleeing wars in their home regions since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Ravil Gainutdin, chairman of Russia’s Council of Muftis, quoted the Quran in a statement on Tuesday and said “the fire of hell” awaits those who carried out the terrorist act at Domodedovo Airport.