Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia Lost the War of the Churches (76)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

A rough translation from my high latin for “Omnes interficere: quia ego Dominus qui sunt eius?” is “Kill them all, because I will have him?”

Update: I stand corrected.  

“Kill them all, God will know His own”

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In Ukraine, the exodus from the ROC continues.

More interesting are developments in Russia. Chaplin, formerly the spokesman for the ROC, publically advocates the invasion of Ukraine – as a colleague observed, why doesn’t Russia simply declare another Crusade? Omnes interficere: quia ego Dominus qui sunt eius?

Khodarkovsky in the NYT on the Vozhd’s Holy Russia. Russian Academy of Science balks at awarding the Head of the ROC an honorary title. Titarenko on the ROC’s monetary losses arising from the departure of Ukrainian parishes. Updates on Russia’s persecution of non-Orthodox churches.

Metropolitan Epifaniy says Russian church to keep operating in Ukraine | UNIAN

Leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy has said a certain number of parishes will remain in Ukraine, subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. According to Epifaniy, the Russian Orthodox Church will further be able to serve their believers in Ukraine. Leader of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epifaniy has said a certain number of parishes will remain in Ukraine, subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. “According to our estimates, there will be a certain number of parishes in Ukraine, which will be subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. This is logical, and we have no objections to this,” he said in an interview with the Greek edition TaNea, according to a posting on his Facebook page. Epifaniy says the Russian Orthodox Church will further be able to serve its believers in Ukraine. “Those who decide to stay with the Russian church should not feel any kind of pressure. These parishes should have equal rights with those belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” he said.

Epiphanius: Ukrainian, Russian parishes to restore friendship eventually

23.01.19 16:04 – Epiphanius: Ukrainian, Russian parishes to restore friendship eventually Head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine (OCU) Epiphanius calls for putting no pressure on those who want to stay with the Russian Orthodox Church and hopes that good relations will be eventually restored. View news.

Metropolitan Epiphanius intends to visit Athens after recognition of OCU by Greek Orthodox Church

Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, Epiphanius, is awaiting recognition of the OCU from the side of the Greek Orthodox Church, after which his visit to Athens will be held for joint liturgy. “Now we expect recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Greek Orthodox Church. (…) If recognized, my visit to Athens for joint liturgy with the head of the Greek Church will take place. I would also like to visit Athos again – a place of unique significance for the Orthodox world,” the head of the OCU said in an interview with the Greek edition of TaNea, the translation of which is published on the official page of the Metropolitan on Facebook. He predicts that in the future “a good and productive relationship” will develop between the Greek Orthodox Church and the OCU.

Two more parishes in Zhytomyr region join united Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Two more parishes in Zhytomyr region decided to switch from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the new united Orthodox Church of Ukraine. — Ukrinform.

Pro-Russian clerics resist official pressure to join new church | Ukraine | Al Jazeera

Despite threats reportedly growing, fewer than 100 of 12,000 Russia-affiliated parishes have joined the new church.

Tymoshenko congratulates Filaret on his 90th birthday anniversary

Yuliya Tymoshenko, leader of the All-Ukrainian Union Batkivschyna party, attended a ceremonial liturgy at St. Volodymyr’s Church in Kyiv on the occasion of the 90th birthday anniversary of Honorary Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Filaret and congratulated him in person, the party said in a statement on Wednesday, January 22.

James Farro on Twitter: “Russian Orthodox priest calls for Russia to invade Kyiv. Russian Orthodox Church is a terrorist organization.… “

Денис Казанський on Twitter: “High-ranking Russian cleric Vsevolod Chaplin at the rally calls to invade Kiev. That’s why we needed tomos. There can be no place in Ukraine of the vile sect in which such priests serve. What does this fascist mug have in common with Christianity? No problem…”

Michael Khodarkovsky | Putin’s Dream of Godliness: Holy Russia – The New York Times

When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church broke from Russia’s, it dealt a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to portray his country as one people with a single identity.

Russian Academy Walks Back Honorary Degree For Orthodox Patriarch

The Russian Academy of Sciences’ decision to name the head of the Russian Orthodox Church an honorary professor caused such a stir that it had to retract the decision.

Vita Titarenko | Russian church leader losing big money over emergence of new local Ukrainian church – religious scholar | UNIAN

It is not only spiritual support that Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Kirill is losing as a result of the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, it is also big money, says religious scholar Vita Titarenko. The creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with canonical principles is one way or another pushing people to get from under of Moscow’s influence. It is not only spiritual support that Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Kirill is losing as a result of the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, it is also big money, says religious scholar Vita Titarenko. With each community leaving the ROC toward the Orthodox Church of Ukraine she believes Kirill is losing the income which had earlier been receiving from them, according to Obozrevatel. The creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with canonical principles is one way or another pushing people to get from under of Moscow’s influence and opt for the independent Ukrainian church, according to the scholar. Read alsoPoroshenko says Moscow pursues provocations against autocephaly of Ukrainian church This is the church “where there is own Metropolitan, where no one prays for aggression, and where they don’t sanctify weapons.” “Why do you think the ROC is spreading information all the time that the newly-formed Ukrainian church is supposed to bring money to Istanbul? It seems that’s the only thing they care about,” noted the expert.

Cast in Russia as ‘enemy within’, Jehovah’s Witnesses see Soviet history replay | Reuters

The first Jehovah’s Witness detained for extremism in Russia has likened the authorities’ behavior to that of Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union ahead of a verdict in his trial.

Russian religious regression creates opportunity for Protestant churches – Mission Network News

Russia (MNN) — Concerning news follows on the heels of Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List release. For the first time in eight years, Russia is ranked as one of the world’s toughest places to be a Christian. This news might come as a surprise, given the prevalence of Christianity in Russia. According to Open Doors, Christians comprise approximately 82-percent of the total population. However, “it’s important to understand the landscape” and consider this update against that religious backdrop, notes Slavic Gospel Association’s Eric Mock. “We cannot talk about the state of Christianity in Russia apart from the Orthodox Church.” Religious freedom: Orthodox and Protestant Christianity falls into two categories in Russia: Orthodox and Protestant. While markedly different, it’s difficult to understand the struggles of one group without knowing the other’s role and status. Most of the Russians who claim to be Christians today belong to the Orthodox Church, explains Mock. Orthodox Christianity is woven throughout Russian history, and its origins trace back to the mid-900’s AD. “There are some long and deep, traditional feelings about the Orthodox Church and Christianity in Russia,” Mock says. “This goes back a long time before it was stifled under the 70 years of Communism.” (Photo by Anastasia Zhenina from Pexels) In the early days, “Moscow saw itself as the keeper of the faith” and a close tie existed between church and state leaders. The 1920s introduced the Bolshevik revolution, World War I, and Soviet rule. Under Communist rule and state-led persecution, no one – Orthodox or Protestant, Jew or Muslim – was safe. Fast-forward several decades, and Mock says that “while we’re seeing a relative stability in religious freedom for Orthodox churches, we’re seeing increased difficulty for Protestant churches.

Kievs Law On Religious Organizations Violates Intl Obligations -Russian Foreign Ministry – UrduPoint [Propaganda]

Kievs law on religious organizations violates Ukraines domestic legislation and international obligations, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday

Why clerical rage over the “Macedonian question” has modern roots – Religion, Greece and Macedonia

THE SPECTACLE of tear gas clouds swirling through Athens on January 20th was as bewildering to many outsiders as the passions behind the huge (and mostly peaceful) protest rally which went before. More bewildering still may have been the presence among the demonstrators of so many black-robed Greek Orthodox clergy.

“First country’s name, then status of Macedonian church” – RegionEnglish – on [Latest Serbia news in English]

The issue of autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church will be launched after the issue of the name of the state has been resolved. Patriarch Neofit said this for the website. “When these details around the name of Macedonia have been clarified, the issue of the church will certainly be launched,” Neofit said. At the same time, he announced that the Bulgarian Church will discuss the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church and assessed that this is an important issue. At the end of 2017, the Bulgarian Church accepted to represent the Macedonian Church before other churches, undertaking all that was necessary to determine its canonical status, but did not accept the Macedonian Church as “its daughter.” At the beginning of 2018, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church formed a commission to work on church affairs in Macedonia, but did not send a delegation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ohrid Archbishopric.


5 thoughts on “Russia Lost the War of the Churches (76)

  1. It is roughly true, that ROC=FSB? Is this only since about 1998, or was ROC=KGB? In other words, it seems quite logical for the Ukrainian polis to separate their church from that controlled from Moscow. Perhaps the next step in Ukrainian nationalism is to actually incorporate Russian nationalism, in a kind of syncretic nationalism, i.e. Kiev is another seat of pan-slavic culture, at odds to the Muscovite, more totalitarian past of the Slavic people. Truly, Ukraine could push Ukrainian identity, while also pushing a non-Moscow dominated ideal of Slavic culture, which includes the Orthodox church, as well as the Russian language. If Navalny is able to take power in Russia in 2022, this would be a way to smoothly allow the re-transition of Crimea to Ukrainian territory, but under Russian security apparatus to allow the continuance of the Russia’s Black Sea base. Do you see the move to autocephaly of the Orthodox church, to both Ukraine and Macedonia, of being a means to reduce the Slavic infighting, paradoxically?

    1. Additionally, it is of course apparent, that Macedonians have a Greek connection, as does much of Ukraine from ancient Greek settlements. By separating from the Russian Orthodox church, the Orthodox Church in general would become more weighted to the influence of the Greek Orthodox Church, which could have beneficial effect of making the power balance more even.

    2. By the way, your thoughts are truly well-researched and precise, I feel bad even commenting here. I just wish there was more conversation about these ideas on how much of the so-called “alternative media” is being manipulated. Your ideas on being informed=being influenced are very true, and really relevant in the digital age. What is your main line of work?

      1. Charles, you HAD to go and ask that tough question, didn’t you? *grin*

        I’m between regular jobs, I’m looking hard, but nothing seems to be available. I’ve been promised a job downtown, but the money isn’t being released.

        I’m doing the occasional consulting job, advising, sometimes teaching, but I’m still leaving my resume in the hope of a more regular position.

        There do not appear to be any jobs in Information Operations or Warfare available, Strategic Communications, or else I’m missing their advertisements. I even dropped my resume in my Congressman’s inbox in the hope he pursue’s the retired Representative Royce’s drive to counter Russian propaganda. I even dropped my resume at the White House to be considered for the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications. Zero callbacks.

        My wife wants me to drive for Uber and Lyft.

        I’m practicing “Would you like fries with that”.

  2. You are being humble! I saw you bio! I do feel your services are needed, especially when we try to move ahead as a country without people understanding how foreign influence operations work – and they are more than Russian ones. It’s amazing how Propornot is not active, and your blog is not front and center. Bellingcat is doing good work, would you not link up with what they do? Your bio is incredible, you must have some time/dedication on your hands to do this: “Mr. Joel Harding is an adviser and consultant for information operations, strategic communication and cyberwarfare. Joel spent the past 35 years working national security issues, beginning with a career as an enlisted soldier on a Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha, followed by a career as a military intelligence officer, and since the mid-1990s he has worked and supported information operations at all levels. He has worked in the department of defense, in the corporate world and as a subject matter expert at a not-for-profit professional trade association, the AOC. While at the AOC, he was the director of the IO Institute, editor of the IO Journal, the organizer of InfowarCon and spoke in Canada, Russia and China about information warfare and cyberwar.”

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