16 : 38 . ”Those who fight in the name of religion are either fanatics or people who do not understand religious texts. True believers do not fight against each other, because they know religion should never be used as a tool to create enemies. Religion is about bringing people together.”
Andrejs is a member of the European Parliament and a journalist. He is from Latvia.
”Religious beliefs are an individual choice. Similarly, one’s spoken language should be an individual choice. I am Latvian, I speak Latvian and I am very much instilled with Latvian traditions, but my native language is Russian. I do not feel at home in Russia – I feel at home in Latvia. Above all, I feel European.
But having studied philology, I stand against the idea of using language to state the supremacy of a state or nation, or to identify a certain language with a geopolitical interest. The use of language, just like the use of religion, is part of your personal identity – it is up to you to chose it and re-define it if you wish. This is why I still chose to speak Russian and find it unfortunate to see the way some people perceive the Russian language. Russian is not only the language of Mister Putin – it is also the language of Mister Pushkin.*
– I find the European project so unique because it brings together people from diverse backgrounds: we are all different, we speak different languages and have different beliefs, but we stand together in this Union.
We teach each other a little bit about the differences which make us who we are. We are diverse and it is the diversity of our heritage that makes us beautiful. It is what makes our Union beautiful.’’
* Vladimir Putin is the current president of the Russian federation and Alexander Pushkin was a famous Russian poet and story writer of the Romantic era.