Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia Losing the War of the Churches (10)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Some very interesting reports on the schism Russia has produced in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

MacFarquhar’s backgrounder is very good, but a little thin on the earlier history of how the Tsars subverted Russia’s church and used it as a tool of state power. It does capture nicely the manner in which the Russians have attempted to bully Constantinople and the smaller Orthodox churches.

Miller’s RFE/RL report from Eastern Ukraine is excellent, and significant insofar as it is the first independent Western media report that covers what emerged in the Ukrainian language media in 2014 – some Russian Orthodox Church clerics actively aiding the Russian mercenary invasion force in Eastern Ukraine, providing both logistical support, and recruiting local parishioners to join the Russian mercenary force. Notably, this failure to maintain separation between church and state has been a feature of radical Islamist terrorism globally, and Russia has dragged its own Church into the very same ethical and legal quagmire.

The Loudaros report, based in part on leaked transcripts, shows the extent to which the Russian Church has realigned its allegiance to the state – arguments put in negotiations by the Russians were verbatim quotes from Putin.

Some other reports included.

Neil MacFarquhar | Russia-Ukraine Tensions Set Up the Biggest Christian Schism Since 1054 – The New York Times

Eastern Orthodox Christians in Ukraine want an independent church free of Moscow’s influence. The Russians, seething, are threatening to break entirely with the mother church.

Bulgarian Church turns down Russia’s call for debate on Ukraine | Reuters

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church on Friday turned down a call by the Russian Patriarch to hold talks to discuss a bid by the Ukrainian church to break away from Moscow’s orbit.

Christopher Miller | Broken Faith: Ukrainian Church Fights For Independence From Moscow | RFE/RL

A stark decision by one church in eastern Ukraine sheds light on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s struggle to emerge from Russia’s shadow.

Broken Faith: Ukrainian Church Fights For Independence From Moscow – To Inform is to Influence

October 07, 2018 15:00 GMT Christopher Miller Father Serhiy conducts Orthodox Mass at St. John the Baptist Temple of the Moscow Patriarchate in Bakhmut. Share 25 KOSTYANTYNIVKA/BAKHMUT, Ukraine — When Father Kostyantyn Kuznetsov rang the bells and swung open the doors of the blue-and-gold-domed St. Stritenskiy Temple in 2015, it marked a small but significant…

Andreas Loudaros | EXCLUSIVE: The dialogue between the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Moscow during their meeting at the Phanar – ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΙΑ INFO

ORTHODOXIA.INFO | Andreas Loudaros In an exclusive, reveals Constantinople and Moscow’s respective arguments and the points of conflict between the two Churches vis-à-vis the Ukraine issue, publishing part of the heated debate which took place between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Kirill during their meeting at the Phanar last August. For three hours the two Primates discussed the issues currently separating their Churches, from the Ukraine question and the Russian Church’s absence from the Holy and Great Synod in Crete, to Moscow’s position on inter-Christian dialogue. As revealed from the talks, the Ecumenical Patriarchate believes Ukraine does not lie within the jurisdiction of Moscow, something the Russian Church rejects outright. The Russian Patriarch stated that, “We have never abandoned the notion that we are one country and one people. It is impossible for us to separate Kiev from our country, as this is where our history began. The Russian Orthodox Church preserves the national consciousness of both Russians and Ukrainians.” He also expressed the opinion that at the source of all the region’s problems lies the Uniate movement, which dates back to the time of the Council of Ferrara and Florence. “If there were no Uniates, the Russians would not have ordained Metropolitan Job without the consent of Constantinople, they would not have declared autonomous status, and thus Constantinople’s jurisdiction over the territory would have continued indefinitely,” claimed Patriarch Kirill, adding with emphasis that the notion of a separate Ukrainian nation was developed toward the end of the 19th century by the Uniates so that they could expand across the country and seize control from the Tsar.

Address by President of the Russian Federation • President of Russia

Vladimir Putin addressed State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin.

Russia losing battle for souls of Ukrainians – expert on autocephaly to Ukraine – 08.10.2018 11:00 — Ukrinform News

The process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has entered the finish line, and now it is very important to refrain from impatience, intolerance, and other emotional manifestations that Russian aggressors will provoke. Director of Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies Rostyslav Pavlenko wrote this on his Facebook page. “The exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch said at a meeting with President [Petro] Poroshenko that the process of obtaining autocephaly (independence) by the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has entered the finish line. Among all the announcements, predictions and prejudices that have recently grown, one cannot forget about the main thing. Building an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine it is a voluntary process in which all interested persons take part and where there is no place for violence, intimidation, and provocations,” Pavlenko said. He noted that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church discuss and understand this. This issue is also discussed at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate as in this church there are many of those who wish to build a new independent Ukrainian church peacefully and together. “Others will be able to remain in unity with Moscow as much as they wish,” Pavlenko added.

Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia hopes Ukrainian Orthodox Church will soon get autocephaly – Parubiy

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II has said he hopes that autocephaly will soon be granted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, according to Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy. “We had a long conversation about the path of autocephaly. He [Patriarch Ilia II] says that this is not an easy path, but he hopes that this path will be passed, and the decision will be positive,” Parubiy said after a meeting with the patriarch in Tbilisi on Friday, October 5. When asked whether the Georgian patriarch spoke about pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church, the parliament speaker noted that they had not discussed this issue. “However, we know that the day before yesterday a letter came from Moscow Patriarch Kirill, in which he calls on all the patriarchs to meet and discuss the Ukraine issue,” Parubiy added.

Priests, Putin, and a Suitcase of Cyanide

An unorthodox alleged murder plot is testing Georgia’s Orthodox order.

The Russian Orthodox Church and its resurgence – CNN

The role of the Russian Orthodox Church has transformed dramatically since the Soviet Union’s collapse. Once persecuted, the church has now become a defining characteristic of Russian identity actively promoted by the Kremlin.

Russian Orthodox Old Believers: Keeping their faith and fighting fires in the West Siberian Plain – The Washington Post

In the summer of 2016, photographer Emile Ducke traveled to an isolated community of “Old Believers” living in a remote Siberian village.