It is astonishing that a book like this should appear with a title that appears to make Patriarch Kirill a natural supporter of human rights and democratic freedoms. He is not.
If readers must take up this book, they should treat it with the deepest reserve and make it their business to find out the truth behind what Kirill has to say. Such as his public support and blessing for the Belarus' dictator Lukaschenko - who has imprisoned and tortured his political opponents; so much for freedom and responsibility! If Kirill intervenes like this in ordinary politics, he leaves himself open to legitimate criticism in the same way as any other secular politician, forfeiting his right to be treated with the deference and respect becoming of a bishop in the Orthodox Church.
In August 2011 Kirill wrote an astonishing open letter to Fidel Castro, congratulating him in very warm terms, and addressing him as "Dear Commandante". There are many Cuban exiles throughout the world who have a rather different view of Castro and point to his brutal disregard for human rights. In fact, despite the rather romantic view held by many middle-aged Europeans, Castro is just another Marxist thug. Yet he attracts the heartfelt encouragement and blessing of Kirill. What does that say about Kirill on a political and personal level? Or yet again, the sycophantic and nauseating public "birthday greetings" he felt it appropriate to offer to Vladimir Putin on 7 October 2011?
If anyone wishes to encounter the real Orthodox approach to human rights, from a hierarch of genuine evangelical spirit who has rebuilt a church entirely destroyed by the most brutal of all the Communist regimes, they might like to read Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, Facing the World, Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2003.
There is a case to be made that the secularist agenda of Western democracies has caused the loss of a sense of shared moral values. Unfortunately Kirill, given the poor record of his Church in terms of respect for the human rights of others, even those of fellow Orthodox Christians, is certainly not the man to bring a convincing argument before a Western audience.