#RussiaFail · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia Loses the War of the Churches (34)


Letter of the Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine replying to the Sultan of Turkey. [English Language]  Written in 1676.
The letter written by Ukrainians sanctioned by Russia is a classic. This is a PR coup for Ukraine. Moscow got slapped, hard.  Funny how a 400-year-old letter came back to curse Moscow, from Cossacks, no less.

Cossacks epitomize the spirit of Crimea and Ukraine.

Crimea is Ukraine. Not Russia.

It seems that everything Russia does to Ukraine only makes them stronger.

Ukrainians recently sanctioned by Russia defiantly wrote this,

They addressed Russian President in response the Russian sanction list issued last week. Putin is called a “Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself”. Ukrainian MPs, listed by Russia in their recent sanction list, staged a performance in the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, and read their letter to Vladimir Putin. Several politicians put on vyshyvankas, traditional hats of lambskin and sable, used a goose quill as a pen, drawing analogy with a painting by Russian artist Ilya Repin “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks” (1880–1891) – a famous canvas depicting Cossacks sending a reply to an ultimatum of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed IV, on his demand to surrender without any resistance back in 1676. The text of the message is styled in a Cossack manner, the addressee is called a “Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself”.
The full text in translation:

Letter of the Zaporozhian Cossacks of Ukraine replying to the Sultan of Turkey. [Ukrainian Language]

“To Vladimir Putin, on November 7, 2018 year of Our Lord.
O president, Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself.
What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse?
Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Ukrainian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee.
So the Ukrainian people declare, you lowlife.
You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians.
Now we’ll conclude, for we know the date and own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year in the book, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!”

Ukrainian MPs address Putin, call him “devil”, “Lucifer” – 112.international

Also: InfoUkes: Ukrainian History — The Cossack Letter: “The Most Defiant Letter!”

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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By far the most interesting development is the public warning to the leadership of the ROC by the Metropolitan of Pisidia, in Southern Turkey, Sotirios: “More specifically, on the matter of ethnophyletism, the Great Orthodox Council of 1872, grounded in the canon law and the tradition of the Church, condemned ethnophyletism unequivocally, seeing that it is a heresy that undercuts the ecclesiological foundation of Christian faith. The Great Council of 1872 proclaimed that the criterion of “ethnicity” (note #1) goes against Church structure because, both by dogma and by governance, it harms the unity of the local Church. Given that the local Church is determined by geographical criteria—not racial or ethnic criteria—using ethnicity becomes a source of schism, the very opposite of the ecclesiastical fact manifested in the members’ sharing the sacrament of Holy Communion united under the person of the one Bishop of each diocese (note #2). [See the records of the Great Synod (#1) Mansi, Vol. 45 Columns 423 and (#2) 430]. … These synodal decisions were accepted by the Orthodox faithful throughout the world and all who serve the Church should know, and recognize, and practice them, so as not to fall into the heresy of ethnophyletism, which destroys the unity of the Holy Church of Christ.”

While the media have latched on to the Metropolitan’s preceding comments that the acts of the ROC leadership “… give joy only to the Anti-Christ, who fights Christ and His Church. All reasonable people are harmed deeply by such satanic efforts” the comments on ethnophyletism, which is the failure to properly maintain separation between church and state, are far more important, as they are regarded to be a heresy in the Orthodox canon law. Heresy used to result in clerics being burned at the stake, but in this civilized era, the punishment is being cast out of the church by excommunication or anathema. Not only could the ROC be stripped of its autonomy, but its leadership could be cast out of Orthodoxy altogether. We have yet to see what collective and personal insults will emerge from the ROC leadership in Muscovy. Included some reports below detailing the extent to which the boundaries between the state and the ROC have been eroded – the Metropolitan has a good case on public reports alone, also some reports on how Greece is completing the separation of church and state (while Greece catches up with modernity, Russia wants to be medieval again).

In Ukraine, the Patriarch of Kyiv, Filaret, has publicly called upon the parliament to legislate to rename the ROC’s Ukrainian branch to the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”. Pres Poroshenko at the Hybrid War Decade conference, very bluntly observed “The Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the Russian political system. Who said that? Putin said that Russia holds on two pillars – Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and nuclear weapon. We have to make conclusions from this, because is it okay when the Russian security council meets in the Kremlin under the chairmanship of Putin with one issue on the agenda – how to protect the ROC in Ukraine? There’s nothing for you here. Your church, your army, your weaponry have nothing to do here. Go back home to Russia.

In Kyiv, a group of legislators produced a letter to Putin, that is likely to produce apoplexy in Muscovy.


ROC Accusations Are “Satanic” Acts, Says Exarch Of Attaleia And Side – To Inform is to Influence

The Exarch of Attaleia and Side, from Antalya, Turkey, wrote the following. Those who have high ecclesiastical rank are the ones who are responsible, and guilty before God, for trying—through uncanonical acts and threats—to pull you away from the Church and from your priest and Bishop, telling you neither to go to confession nor to receive…

Exarch of Attaleia and Side: Russian Orthodox Church’s acts give joy only to Anti-Christ | UNIAN

Exarch of Attaleia and Side, Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia has said acts of the Russian Orthodox Church, which decided to sever relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the background of the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, give joy only to the Anti-Christ. The Russian Orthodox Church has previously said its priests were forbidden to serve in the churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and believers who prayed there should confess. Exarch of Attaleia and Side, Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia has said acts of the Russian Orthodox Church, which decided to sever relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the background of the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, give joy only to the Anti-Christ. “My beloved spiritual children, for those of you who belong to the Holy Metropolis of Pisidia and the Exarchate of Attaleia and Side no outside Bishop, Metropolitan, or Patriarch has any right to go around or behind the back of your local Metropolitan and to give you orders – or issue threats – regarding which church you should attend and where you should receive Holy Communion. None of these hierarchs has any authority over you before Christ and His One Holy Church. If you were to disregard such prohibitions and directions, you are not culpable and should not feel any guilt,” he said in a message. The Russian Orthodox Church has previously said its priests were forbidden to serve in the churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and believers who prayed there should confess. “Those who have high ecclesiastical rank are the ones who are responsible, and guilty before God, for trying – through uncanonical acts and threats – to pull you away from the Church and from your priest and Bishop, telling you neither to go to confession nor to receive Holy Communion. Acts such as these give joy only to the Anti-Christ, who fights Christ and His Church. All reasonable people are harmed deeply by such satanic efforts,” the exarch said.

To the Holy Clergy and Christ-following Faithful of our Holy Metropolis :: Alanya-Orthodox

The Apostle Paul exhorts bishops to, “Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has put you as bishops to shepherd the Church of God, which he obtained with the blood of his own Son”. Ecumenical Patriarchate Holy Metropolis of Pisidia Exarchate of Side and Attaleia To the Holy Clergy and Christ-following Faithful of our Holy Metropolis Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:

“We’re going to ask Verkhovna Rada to rename Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate,” – Filaret | Censor.NET

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) is going to appeal to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. This was said by Head of the UOC-KP, Patriarch Filaret, Censor.NET reports citing Holos Ukrainy parliamentary newspaper. He notes that clergy and laity reluctant to join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be referred to as the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. According to Filaret, the Kyiv Patriarchate is going to request the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to pass a law on a United Orthodox Church in Ukraine as well as to change the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. “What are we going to seek? We will be striving to have a single Orthodox Church in Ukraine and to make sure that the Russian Orthodox Church is not hiding under the Ukrainian name while, in essence, it is Russian. And therefore we are going to ask the Verkhovna Rada to adopt a law saying that there is only one Orthodox Church in Ukraine while the second Orthodox Church should be called Russian. Moreover, they use the Church Slavonic language during prayers, sermon is in Russian, they protect Russian interests in the east [of Ukraine],” the newspaper quoted Filaret as saying. He also stressed that Moscow is trying to meddle in Ukrainian church affairs and aggravate the situation around the obtaining of tomos of autocephaly under the guise of protection of the Orthodox faithful. Filaret also notes that the Ukrainian side will not allow any violence. Censor.NET memo: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the official, registered, name of the Church run by the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP).

Kyiv Patriarchate asks to rename Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate – 112.international

According to the Kyiv Patriarch of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Filaret, Moscow Patriarchate should not hide behind the name of “Ukrainian church”. Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate will address the Verkhovna Rada with a request to change the name of ‘Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate’ to ‘Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine’. Patriarch Filaret of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate announced this, as The Voice of Ukraine reports. “What are we going to demand? So that there is a Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and so that Russian Orthodox Church does not hide behind the name of ‘Ukrainian’ church, being in fact Russian one. That is why, we will ask the Verkhovna Rada to adopt a law about only one Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and the other one has to be called Russian. In addition, the worships are held in Church Slavonic language and the sermons – in Russian, and it protects the interests of Russia in the east,” Filaret is reported as saying. As is known, Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an official legal name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. As it was reported earlier, the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant the autocephaly for Ukraine’s Orthodox Church. The respective document appeared on the official website of the Patriarchate. This outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which already promised ‘a tough and decisive response.’

“There’s nothing for you here, go back home to Russia,” Poroshenko on Russian church, army presence in Ukraine

07.11.18 17:50 – President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says the authorities in Ukraine clearly share the principle of non-interference of the state in church activities which especially applies to Russia, the interference of which has always been taking place in recent years. “The Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the Russian political system. Who said that? Putin said that Russia holds on two pillars – Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and nuclear weapon. We have to make conclusions from this, because is it okay when the Russian security council meets in the Kremlin under the chairmanship of Putin with one issue on the agenda – how to protect the ROC in Ukraine?” the head of state said speaking at the International Conference “The Hybrid War Decade: Lessons Learned to Move Forward Successfully,” Censor.NET reports citing the presidential press office. “There’s nothing for you here. Your church, your army, your weaponry have nothing to do here. Go back home to Russia,” he said. Poroshenko reminded that during his visit to Istanbul, he signed the historic agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is a document in support of the creation of the autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine. The president expressed hope that the holding of the unifying Council would not be delayed and after the election of the primate, the Ukrainian church would receive the Tomos with confirmation of its spiritual independence. Source: https://en.censor.net.ua/n3095586

“Go home!” Poroshenko tells Russian army and church | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes Russian army and Russian church “have nothing to do” in Ukraine. President Petro Poroshenko has said that the authorities in Ukraine clearly follow the principle of non-interference of the state in church affairs, while Russia has long been interfering. zUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes Russian army and Russian church “have nothing to do” in Ukraine. “You have nothing to do here. Your church, your army, your weaponry have nothing to do here. Go home, to Russia,” Poroshenko said, speaking at the International Conference “The Hybrid War Decade: Lessons Learned to Move Forward Successfully” in Kyiv Wednesday. “The Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the Russian political system. Who said that? It was Putin who said that Russia stands on two pillars – Russian Orthodox Church and nuclear weapons. We have to draw conclusions from this. After all, is it okay when the Russian security council convenes in the Kremlin under Putin’s chairmanship with a single issue on the agenda – ways to protect the ROC in Ukraine?” the president said. Poroshenko reminded that during his visit to Istanbul, he signed a historic agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the document supporting the creation of the autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine. The president expressed hope that the holding of the Unification Council would not be delayed and after the election of the primate, the Ukrainian church would receive the tomos confirming its spiritual independence.

‘Go home!’ Ukrainian President Poroshenko calls for Russian Orthodox Church to be purged — RT World News

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, telling it to “go home” in fiery comments, which the Church dismissed as “absurd” and unconstitutional. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, telling it to “go home” in fiery comments, which the Church dismissed as “absurd” and unconstitutional. Concerns voiced by top Russian officials about the ongoing church row in Ukraine are proof that the institution should not be in the country at all, according to Poroshenko.

Poroshenko enacts transfer of Kyiv church to Ecumenical Patriarchate | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law to enact the transfer of St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for permanent use. The document was submitted to the president on October 18. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law to enact the transfer of St. Andrew’s Church in Kyiv to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for permanent use. The parliament’s web page where the Law on Specific Use of St. Andrew’s Church of the National Sanctuary Complex “Sophia of Kyiv'”(No. 9208) is posted, says that the document was submitted to the president on October 18 and returned with his signature on November 7.

lyas Kemaloğlu | The recognition of the Kyiv Church independence by the Patriarchate of Constantinople highlighted the fault lines in the Orthodox Christian world – Ukrainian church autocephaly serves the U.S. interests? – 112.international

The recognition of the Kyiv Church independence by the Patriarchate of Constantinople highlighted the fault lines in the Orthodox Christian world, which dates back to the 15th century. Even at that time, the Moscow Church called itself the third Rome, and this desire is in fact consistent with the ideas of the Kremlin, which has long wished to return Russia to the status of a world power. The teacher of the of Mimar Sinan University historical department, Professor İlyas Kemaloğlu follows the historical traces of this deep schism … With the recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the process of independence of this church acquired a completely different dimension. The Russian Orthodox Church declared the Patriarchate of Constantinople to be schismatic. The Orthodox world has faced one of the biggest crises, not only in recent decades, but throughout its entire history. In addition, this crisis seems to affect political relations both between the countries involved and between some states in the region and in the world. In reality, the struggle between Moscow and Constantinople in the religious sphere did not begin recently. This struggle dates back to the end of the 16th century, when the Moscow Church was elevated to the dignity of the patriarchate. Although the Patriarchate of Constantinople is considered the “first among equals” and even unofficially the “ecumenical patriarchy”, the fact that the majority of the Orthodox population lives in Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate has such a powerful state as Russia makes the Russian Orthodox Church very strong. The location of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the territory of a Muslim country and the marriage of Russian Tsar Ivan III to the daughter of the last Byzantine emperor, Sofya (the niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI), were the factors that strengthened the status and position of Moscow, and Moscow starting from the XV century, declared itself the third Rome. These claims of Moscow have always been preserved except, perhaps, only during the Soviet period. Since in Soviet times, religion was considered the most important obstacle to the spread of Soviet ideology, atheistic propaganda was launched, and all religious institutions, including the Russian Church, suffered great damage. Therefore, during this period, the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate decreased, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, on the contrary, strengthened its position in the Orthodox world, which earlier was weakened with the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks. But over the past 27 years since the collapse of the USSR, the Moscow Patriarchate regained its former strength and influence. At the same time, we see that the influence and jurisdiction of the Russian Church unofficially spread over the post-Soviet space, and it took a new mission: to be a unifying element between the post-Soviet republics and to preserve the domination of Moscow in these territories in the religious sphere. But, like the Kremlin, the Russian Orthodox Church does not want to dwell on the status of “regional power.” While the Kremlin is opposed to the unipolar world order of the United States, the Moscow Patriarchate does not want to recognize the Patriarchate of Constantinople as “the first among equals”. One of the main indicators of this is the fact that the Moscow Patriarch Kirill did not participate in the Pan-Orthodox Council convened by Patriarch Bartholomew in 2016 on the island of Crete, which have been prepared for 55 years. Obviously, Kirill didn’t make all these decisions alone, because, like the previous patriarchs, he also has close relations with the Kremlin. Although in Russia religion is separated from the state, the history of the Russian church is intertwined with politics. The Russian step against the independence of the Ukrainian church, the demonstrated reaction is entirely political in nature. Despite the tensions that exist today in relations between Russia and Ukraine, Russians and Ukrainians descend from the same race, and in such doctrines and projects of the Kremlin as the “Slavic Union,” the “Orthodox Union,” and “Third Rome” Ukraine plays an important role. After Russian land, the Slavic Orthodox population most of all lives in the territory of fraternal Ukraine. These ideas may never be realized, but this “unity” plays an important role in the existence of the Russian state, in maintaining the nationalist feelings of the people and, finally, in making it “feel special.” Another reason why Moscow does not want to lose Ukraine is this: Russian history is closely intertwined with Ukraine. The first state of Russians was Kievan Rus, one of the first capitals was Kyiv, the first metropolis was established in Kyiv, Kyiv is considered the “mother of Russian cities” – all this and other things make Kyiv and Ukraine important from the point of view of Russian history and Russia’s place in the Orthodox and Slavic world. Now, Moscow faces the risk of losing all this, while it made the Russian people believe that the “third Rome” will stand forever and will never fall. Related: Russian Orthodox Church refuses to obey Ecumenical Patriarchate At the same time, we can say that the position of the “opposite side” is also political. President of Ukraine Poroshenko, seeking to ensure the acquisition of an independent church, wants to sever all ties with Russia after Crimea joined the Russian Federation. This step can also be regarded as the strongest blow that Kyiv inflicts on Moscow. And the Patriarchate of Constantinople took the side of Ukraine. Because regardless of whether it recognizes such its right or, according to Moscow, acts outside the canonical field, this step of the Constantinople Patriarchate in any case harms its position and image in the Orthodox world. As noted above, despite the “equality” in the hierarchy, Constantinople has a special position. And now the Moscow Patriarchate, which unites more than half of the Orthodox population of the world, has severed all ties with Constantinople and accused the patriarch of splitting. In addition, the Orthodox in Russia also considered Constantinople to be an important religious center. Moreover, in recent years, the number of visits made by Orthodox believers in Russia with the aim of visiting Orthodox religious structures in Turkey has increased, or, in other words, religious tourism has even begun to develop. Russians calls political step the recognition of the Ukrainian church by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, despite the fact that lately relations between the Moscow and Constantinople patriarchs were at a good level. Voicing this point of view, Russian experts proceed from several circumstances. First, this crisis comes at a time of tension in relations between Moscow and Athens. Secondly, the Patriarchate of Constantinople sent clergymen from the USA and Canada to Ukraine as representatives. And the Russian authorities openly say that the United States is behind this process, and their goal is to harm Russia’s interests in the religious sphere, as well as in the political and economic spheres. According to those who wish to further confuse the problem, one of the reasons for this process is the desire to harm the Turkish-Russian relations, which, after the plane crash, again went up the mountain. Again, in this context, suggestions are being made that the Kremlin allegedly asked Ankara for support in this matter and called on the Turkish authorities to put pressure on the Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to force it to reconsider its move. At the same time, Ankara, on the agenda of which there are many internal and external problems, does not want to interfere in this matter. As can be seen, this “religious” problem of the Orthodox world, which has its roots in the “historical” past, has a very multifaceted “political” dimension. And this creates a big obstacle in order to continue to solve the problem in a different way than now. Thus, the Orthodox world received a serious blow. After this step of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Russian Church decided to impose sanctions. The Moscow Patriarchate forbade not only its priests to hold services in the churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but also their parishioners to pray in these churches. And most importantly, the Russian Orthodox Church declared Patriarch Bartholomew a “schismatic.” Against the background of these events, other churches will be forced, albeit implicitly, to support one of the parties. The Polish, Serbian, Antiochian churches are already taking the side of the Russian Church. Moreover, Russia also announced that it did not recognize the decisions of Constantinople, and the Russian Church will continue to remain in Ukraine. And this shows that the struggle and the redistribution of property between the churches in Ukraine will continue. In the long term, even if Ukraine acquires a “national church,” all this will further intensify the struggle in political and other spheres in this country, further aggravate Ukraine-Russia relations and, accordingly, negatively affect relations between Russia and the EU and the United States. In other words, it is impossible to say that any political or religious side of this problem will benefit. And while pointing to the West as the culprit of all problems is erroneous, the real fact is that this problem in the political sense will benefit the USA, and in the religious sense – it will benefit the Protestants and Catholics in Europe. Read the original article at Karar.

Fight Over Ukraine’s Church Risks Dividing Orthodoxy :: Balkan Insight

Moves to recognize the Ukrainian Church&rsquo;s independence from Moscow could effectively split the Orthodox world into rival pro-Russian and pro-Western blocs.

Ukrainian MPs address Putin, call him “devil”, “Lucifer” – 112.international

They addressed Russian President in response the Russian sanction list issued last week. Putin is called a “Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself”. Ukrainian MPs, listed by Russia in their recent sanction list, staged a performance in the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, and read their letter to Vladimir Putin. Several politicians put on vyshyvankas, traditional hats of lambskin and sable, used a goose quill as a pen, drawing analogy with a painting by Russian artist Ilya Repin “Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks” (1880–1891) – a famous canvas depicting Cossacks sending a reply to an ultimatum of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed IV, on his demand to surrender without any resistance back in 1676. The text of the message is styled in a cossak manner, the addressee is called a “Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself”.

The full text in translation:

 

“To Vladimir Putin, on November 7, 2018 year of Our Lord. 

O president, Moscow devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. 

What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? 

Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Ukrainian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee. 

So the Ukrainian people declare, you lowlife. 

You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. 

Now we’ll conclude, for we know the date and own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year in the book, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!”

InfoUkes: Ukrainian History — The Cossack Letter: “The Most Defiant Letter!”

The Cossack Letter: The Most Defiant Letter!

A dispute over St. Petersburg’s grand Orthodox cathedral stirs up Russia’s anti-Semitic conspiracies – The Washington Post [January 24, 2017]

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is changing hands, and a prominent Russian politician is talking about the Pale of Settlement. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings in St. Petersburg, Russia’s grand second city that was the country’s Europe-facing capital for more than 200 years. Completed in 1858, it’s not only the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the world but an important tourist spot in the city, drawing almost 2.3 million visitors last year. Yet despite its heritage, recently announced plans to transfer the ownership of the cathedral from the state to the Russian Orthodox Church have sparked protests in the city, and that dispute turned uglier Tuesday, with comments from a prominent politician leading to allegations of anti-Semitism in Orthodox-majority Russia. Those comments were made Monday by Pyotr Tolstoy, the deputy chairman of Russia’s State Duma, during a news conference. Tolstoy, the great-grandson of Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and a former journalist who now represents the pro-President Vladimir Putin United Russia party, had been asked to comment on the protests over the transfer of the church.

The Russian Orthodox Church and its resurgence – CNN [March 30, 2017]

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. But as is often the case in Russia, this local dispute is symbolic of a much larger national debate. “I’m worried about the role that the Russian Orthodox Church is trying to play in our lives,” said a protester named Galina Vozensenskaya. “I’m fine with the church as long as it minds its own business,” added her husband, Vladimir Kudryavtsev, an academic from St. Petersburg. “But when they overstep their boundaries on the question of abortion or middle school education or taking buildings like this, I’m not OK with it.”

Regime change leads to chaos & persecution of Christians – senior Russian cleric to RT — RT World News [12 May, 2017]

The policy of regime change “in the name of democracy” gives terrorists control over vast territories and makes Christians flee and suffer, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev told RT during his Washington visit. The policy of regime change “in the name of democracy” gives terrorists control over vast territories and makes Christians flee and suffer, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev told RT during his Washington visit. One of the top clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church and head of External Church Relations, Hilarion Alfeyev, spoke to an RT correspondent after the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, which took place in the US capital. The forum gathered representatives of more than 130 countries to testify on the persecution of Christians around the world. Alfeyev noted that events in some states have “one and the same scenario,” in which an existing regime is accused of various crimes and the leader is ousted for being ‘undemocratic.’ “The regime is overthrown in the name of democracy, but instead of democracy… political chaos comes,” he told RT. This allows terrorists to seize territory, jeopardizing Christian communities and causing people to flee as they are persecuted in their own land. “This is precisely the situation that is used by terrorists to gain control of huge territories. This happened in Iraq, this happened in Libya,” he said, adding that great amounts of people have left those countries and many Christians there are still in danger. “In Iraq under Saddam Hussein there were 1.5 million Christians, now there is probably one tenth of this quantity left and even those who are left are in constant danger. In Libya there was a strong Christian community, there is practically none of it left,” he said. He added that he does not support any particular regime, but they can maintain “certain balances” between various religious and ethnic groups. The destruction of these balances leads to “tragedy for the Christians of Middle East.”

Siberian diocese calls for boycott of ‘Satanic’ Holi Festival of Colors — RT World News [25 May, 2017]

The Chelyabinsk Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church asked the prosecutor’s office to look into the “content side” of the All-Russia Festival of Colors for fear it could put “Russia’s national security” at risk and “disintegrate our people.”

Number of atheists in Russia halves in 3 years – poll — RT Russia [25 Jul, 2017]

The number of Russians who describe themselves as atheists has fallen from 26 to 13 percent in just three years, according to recent research. The share of those who back the Church’s involvement in state politics has increased slightly. Analysts from the Levada Center noted in comments published on the group’s website that while the share of religious people in the country was on the increase, the strength of their faith was apparently getting weaker. “The increase in the number of believers is not accompanied by sincere faith or understanding of importance of the religion for spiritual life,” the comments read. “Indirectly, the weakness of Orthodox Christian norms can be confirmed by growing opposition to restrictions imposed during major fasts – such as the restrictions on entertainment, alcohol or sex. The number of people who say that they are not ready to bear this burden has increased up to two times over the past few years.”

Russian Orthodox Church enjoys renaissance – CNN Video

The Russian Orthodox Church, persecuted in the communist era, has rebounded in modern-day Russia. CNN’s Ivan Watson has the story.

The Death Of A Nation | Zero Hedge [2017-08-17]

James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation, Every living nation needs symbols. They tell us who we are as one people, in what we believe, and on what basis we organize our common life. This fact seems to be very clear to the current leadership in Russia, particularly to President Vladimir Putin, in restoring and reunifying a country rent by three generations of Red and White enmity to achieve a national synthesis. With regard to things spiritual, this meant first of all the world-historic reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church, between the Moscow Patriarchate and the New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It also meant the rebuilding of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior dynamited by the communists 1931, not coincidentally the recent target for desecration by degenerates hailed by western «democracy» advocates. Civic and military symbols matter as well. After 1991 there were those who wanted landmarks of the communist era to be ruthlessly expunged the way the Bolsheviks had themselves sought (in Solzhenitsyn’s description) to rub off the age-old face of Russia and to replace it with a new, ersatz Soviet image. Instead, wisdom prevailed. The national anthem adopted in 2001 retains the Soviet melody but with new lyrics (written by Sergey Mikhalkov, who with Gabriel El-Registan had penned the original lyrics in 1944!) – Lenin and Stalin are out, God is in. The old capital is again Saint Petersburg, but the surrounding district still bears the name Leningrad. The red star marks Russia’s military aircraft and vehicles, while the blue Saint Andrew’s cross flies over the fleet. The red stars likewise are still atop the Kremlin towers while the Smolensk icon of Christ once again graces the Savior Gate. The red banner that was hoisted triumphantly on the Reichstag in 1945 is carried on Victory Day. The remains of exiled White commanders like Anton Denikin and Vladimir Kappel were repatriated and reburied at home with honor.

 

Greece strikes deal with Orthodox Church to take 10,000 clergy off payroll | Euronews

Greece and its Orthodox Church tentatively agreed on Tuesday to remove around 10,000 clergies from the state payroll, according to Reuters. This landmark deal could clearly define the distinction between Church and State in Greece. The Orthodox Church in Greece has played a crucial role in public life for years and for many Greeks, their national pride goes hand-in-hand with their religion. This deal was agreed upon in Athens between Archbishop Ieronymos of the Church of Greece and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Under the deal, the state will in the future transfer an annual state subsidy to a special fund for the church to pay priests’ salaries. Under the new deal, an annual payment of around €200 million will be paid regardless of if the Church increases or reduces the number of priests. In return, the Church of Greece has agreed not to oppose a motion to make Greece religiously neutral. The two leaders said Greece will continue to pay clergy salaries but no longer as civil servants. In 2015, 18% of the Greek workforce was employed by the government, according to the OECD. The agreement also aims to settle decades-long property disputes between Greece and the Church of Greece, which is one of the country’s largest real estate owners, Reuters said. The country has been one of the European Union’s weakest performing economies since a debt crisis was triggered following the 2008 global financial meltdown. Creditors for Greece have urged the government to sell assets and reduce the number of public employees in order to pay back the country’s external debt. This agreement must still be approved by the cabinet, parliament and church leaders. The agreement coincides with discussions in the Greek parliament to revise the country’s constitution. According to Reuters, Tsipras assured the Archbishop that the autonomy of the Church will be protected regardless of any constitutional change.

Greece to take clergy off its payroll in deal with Orthodox Church – Channel NewsAsia

Greece and its powerful Orthodox Church tentatively agreed on Tuesday to remove some 10,000 priests and auxiliary staff from the state payroll, in a deal that could pave the way for a clearer distinction between church and state. The Greek Orthodox Church has played a leading role in the life of the country for many centuries and is considered its official religion under the constitution. For many Greeks, their national identity is intricately bound up with their religion. Under the deal, reached between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop Ieronymos of the Church of Greece, the state will in the future transfer an annual state subsidy to a special church fund for the payment of priests’ salaries. The agreement also foresees a settlement to a decades-old dispute over property between the Greek state and the Church, which is one of the country’s largest real estate owners.

Church deal will allow up to 10,000 hirings, gov’t spokesman says | News | ekathimerini.com

A deal between the leftist-led government and the Orthodox Church will make fiscal space for up to 10,000 hirings in the state sector, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a press briefing Wednesday.

Orthodox priests to be cut from Greek government payroll | World news | The Guardian

Prime minister determined to overhaul country’s complex ties with the church

 

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