The idea of absolute value and priority of freedom, the freedom of choice, and the refusal from the priority of ethical standards have become some sort of a time bomb for western civilisation,” Kirill said.

Meanwhile, the church’s main spokesman, Vsevolod Chaplin, sent a letter to five regional governors urging them to create a system of “usury-free” Orthodox banks. He reportedly said the system – inspired by Islamic banks – will “make the global economy run according to our own rules”.

Orthodox banks “will have direct relations with China, the Islamic world, other centres of influence” bypassing the western financial system that “increasingly shows its unfriendliness”, Chaplin told the Itar Tass news agency.