Tag Archive for Religion

Can Ukraine’s divided church help heal the divided country

Ukraine Map and Flag

(opendemocracy.net – Iannis Carras – January 15, 2015) Iannis Carras is an economic and social historian of the 18th century Balkan and Russian worlds. He is active in Greek NGOs and has been a parliamentary candidate in the Athens region for the Greek Green Party. In hardship, people turn to religion for help. Ukraine today

Interfax: Making people choose between terror, blasphemy wrong – Russian church official

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

(Interfax – January 14, 2015) Forcing people to choose between terrorism and blasphemy is dangerous, public relations chief of the Russian Orthodox Church Vsevolod Chaplin has said. He was speaking on the Russian Orthodox Church TV channel Spas on 14 January, as reported by Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax. A week after the deadly attacks

NEWSWATCH: In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell

Vladimir Putin

[“In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” – Strobe Talbott – Reuters – Dec. 16, 2014] Strobe Talbott predicts that a third Chechen War could break out in 2015, sounding the death knell for Russia’s current geographic configuration. Indeed, Talbott comments that Russia could break apart by the end this century, and that

Teaching orthodoxy in Russian schools


(opendemocracy.net – Natalya Yakovleva – December 4, 2014) Natalya Yakovleva is a journalist in Novosibirsk. She writes for the Literary Gazette and the Teachers’ Gazette. Orthodox ideology is being rushed into the Russian school curriculum – in the interests of nationalism. It all happened very fast. In the middle of 2009 Dmitry Medvedev, the then

Russian Government Gives Church $40 Million to Set Up Spiritual Centers

Russian Orthodox Cathedral Moscow file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Shura Collinson – November 29, 2014) The Russian Orthodox Church is to get a total of 2 billion rubles ($40 million) from the federal budget for the creation of spiritual enlightenment centers, a news report said Friday. Deputy Culture Minister Vladimir Aristarkhov said earlier this month that 958 million rubles

Interfax: Russian church leader calls on people to join forces amid sanctions

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – November 4, 2014) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the West over attempts to play havoc with the minds of the Russian people through the sanctions it had imposed against Russia, Gazprom-owned Russian TV channel NTV reported on 4 November. “One should make the economic situation worse to play havoc

Tolstoy’s Canadian Doukhobors Return to Russia Over 100 Years After Fleeing

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – YASNAYA POLYANA, Tula Region – October 3, 2014) When they were in their 50s, Elaine and Alfred Podovinikoff packed up their lives in their native Canada and emigrated to a muddy, provincial Russian settlement with a single paved road and freely roaming chickens. The Podovinikoffs resettled just

Russian Orthodox Church Risks Schism Over Conflict in Ukraine

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – September 3, 2014) On the last day of summer, a Russian Orthodox priest imposed against his parishioners who had fought in Ukraine’s “fratricidal war” a 20-year ban on receiving communion. Those deemed to have only promoted the conflict raging in Ukraine’s east, either verbally or in writing,

Interfax: Far-right groups threaten Kyiv region priest with reprisals

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 15 (Interfax) – Members of far-right groups disrupted a religious service being conducted by Priest Volodymyr Navozenko at the Church of the Holy Intercession in the village of Chervona Motovylivka outside of Kyiv. A video posted on YouTube shows several dozen people entering the church holding Ukrainian flags and symbols of the far-right

Interfax: Election of Metropolitan Onurfy head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church indicates pro-Moscow tendencies among bishops – “Kyiv Patriarchate”

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The election of Metropolitan Onufry as head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church indicates that the majority of the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate adhere to “Russian world” ideas and puts an end to the idea of creating a local Church of Ukraine, the self-proclaimed “Kyiv Patriarchate” said. “Despite the hopes

Interfax: Ukrainian military are pressuring Donbas Orthodox Christians – Metropolitan Onufry

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Aug 1 (Interfax) – Metropolitan of Chernivtsi and Bukovina Onufry, the locum of the Kyiv Metropolia, has accused the Ukrainian military of pressuring Orthodox Christians in Donbas. “I have to state violations of the rights and freedoms of believers and interference in the work of parishes of the Donetsk diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox

Pussy Riot Lands in U.S. for Film Premiere

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ali Sar – HOLLYWOOD, April 22, 2014) An image of young women clad in colorful outfits peeping through ski masks while being detained and clobbered by the police has been a part of evening newscasts in the U.S. for some time, most recently during the Sochi Olympics. Casual viewers have

An Easter Tale Of Two Orthodox Babushkas In Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – KYIV – April 20, 2014) Lyudmila, 60, a newspaper copy editor, and Yelena Andreyevna, 75, a pensioner, have a lot in common. They have lived most their lives in Kyiv. They are both ethnic Russian. And they are both practicing Orthodox Christians. On Easter Sunday they both prayed for peace and understanding

Russia must remain true to “traditional values” – Kremlin chief-of-staff

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – Moscow, March 31, 2014) Sergey Ivanov, head of the Kremlin administration, is stressing the importance and relevance of Russia drawing up a state cultural policy: the scenario in Ukraine, which led to the abandoning of traditional values and a division of society provoked from abroad, must not be allowed. “The latest events in

Maslenitsa Weekend in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katerina Azarova – February 28, 2014) Sunshine and pancakes: If you ask me, it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what Moscow is all about this week, because it’s Maslenitsa time! The delicious, gluttonous week of sweet and savory pancakes before Lent is finally upon us, and you should

NEWSLINK: Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

[“Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church” – Pew Research – pewforum.org  – February 10, 2014 – http://www.pewforum.org/2014/02/10/russians-return-to-religion-but-not-to-church/] The Pew Forum examines data on Russian religious trends.  The number of Russians declaring an affiliation with the Russian Orthodox Church and other faiths has risen, but church attendance is low. Over the past two decades,

On Mark Adomanis in JRL #28 [re: Russian Religiosity, Pussy Riot

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

Subject: On Mark Adomanis in JRL #28 Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2014 12:48:37 -0600 From: David Stone <stone@ksu.edu> Mark Adomanis’ piece from Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/markadomanis/2014/02/09/why-pussy-riot-failed-in-one-chart/) that you included in JRL 28 uses Russia’s increasing religiosity to explain Pussy Riot’s failure. I don’t buy it. Adomanis refers to a study from the Levada Center (http://www.levada.ru/24-12-2013/rossiyane-o-religii) which measures

What is it like to be a Muslim in Russia?

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – February 3, 2014) RBTH talks to Muslims in Russia and searches for the reasons behind the country’s apprehensive attitude toward Islam. Muslims are the second largest religious denomination in Russia, and they have peacefully coexisted with Orthodox believers over many centuries. However, in recent

Russian Orthodox Deacon Fears Defrocking After Outing Church’s ‘Gay Lobby’


(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Andrei Shary and Claire Bigg – January 9, 2014) A prominent theologian who claims to have outed a powerful “gay lobby” within the Russian Orthodox Church says he now fears being defrocked over his allegations. The allegations by Deacon Andrei Kurayev, a firebrand missionary who taught at the Orthodox Moscow Theological

Interfax: Western model of society is becoming increasingly marginal – Russian Orthodox Church

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – The Western model of society cannot cope with modern challenges, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has said. “To my mind, Western civilization still cannot realize that its model of social order is shared by the minority of people in the world and

Interfax: Medvedev greets Patriarch Kirill on Christmas, thanks for spiritual patronage

Patriarch Kirill file photo

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has greeted Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Christmas, the government website reported on Tuesday. “This holiday presents the light of faith, the warmth of love and the happiness of hope. It consolidates the moral foundations of our society helping people to learn Christian

Interfax: Putin: Christmas serves to unite millions on the basis of common spiritual values and traditions

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

Moscow, January 7, Interfax – President Vladimir Putin has greeted Orthodox Christians, all Russian citizens celebrating Christmas, the Kremlin press service reported on Tuesday. “This lightsome holiday nourishes the kindest of feelings and intensions and serves to unite millions of people on the basis of common spiritual values and historical traditions of which mutual respect

Investigators asked to look into Moscow Art Theater production of An Ideal Husband

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) – Requests to conduct an inquiry into the production of the play An Ideal Husband at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater (MAT) have been forwarded to the Russian Investigative Committee’s Moscow branch, the city police department said on its Twitter page. “Twenty-three requests demanding an inquiry into the Chekhov MAT’s production

Topless FEMEN activist climbs altar in Cologne cathedral during Christmas Mass

EU Map

KYIV. Dec 25 (Interfax) – An activist of the feminist movement FEMEN has disrupted a Christmas mass in Kolner Dom, the main cathedral of Cologne, Germany. “The activist climbed the altar of the cathedral in the presence of thousands of people to protest the Vatican propaganda for the criminalization of abortion. The words ‘I AM

Number of Orthodox Christians, Muslims grows in Russia, 19% are nonbelievers – poll

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

Moscow, December 24, Interfax – Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Russia (68%) and 7% of the country’s population is Muslim. No more than 1% of residents define themselves as Catholics, Protestants, Judaists and others, Levada Center said. There were 50% of Orthodox Christians and 4% of Muslims in the country a decade ago,

‘Vladimir Putin as a Religious Type’

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 18, 2013) A century ago, the Russian religious thinker Sergey Bulgakov wrote a seminal essay entitled “Karl Marx as a Religious Type” in which he outlined the ways in which that self-proclaimed atheist was in fact someone profoundly affected in his thinking by the religious tradition

Interfax: Conflicts on former Soviet soil should be settled peacefully – Russian Orthodox Church

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations Vsevolod Chaplin has said that peaceful solutions should be found for conflicts in former Soviet states. “People are predetermined to live side-by-side in peace. Enmity, wars and total conflicts, whether they be controllable or uncontrollable, are always bad. We can

Interfax: Russians still trust president, church the most – poll


MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – The president and the Orthodox Church are still the most trusted institutions and structures in Russia. Over 60% of the respondents surveyed in an express poll conducted by Romir in November said they “fully trust” or “tend to trust” the rating leaders. The poll surveyed 500 respondents aged from 18

Orthodox countries joining EU should not change values – Russian church

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, November 28, 2013) The Moscow Patriarchate has called on Orthodox countries, including Russia, not to allow EU influence to change them as they conduct dialogue, but to suggest the EU itself change. “Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, as members of a strong and self-sufficient civilization, have a right, when

Interfax: Too early to discuss time, place of meeting of Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis – Russian Orthodox Church

Saint Peter's Basilica

MOSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) – Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis could meet but only after issues in the relations between the two churches are resolved, the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations said on Wednesday. The unresolved conflict between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics in Ukraine remains the main obstacle – almost all churches

Interfax: Russian church calls for broad debate of idea for special role of Orthodox faith in Constitution

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) – There is a need for an open and broad public debate on the proposal to reflect in the Constitution the special role of Orthodox faith, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the synodal department on relations between the church and society, said. “Such initiatives, like any public, ideological, and legislative

Putin and Pope Swap Gifts, Talk Syria During Visit

Pope Francis Portraits on Four Vatican Stamps

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin presented Pope Francis with an icon of Our Lady of Vladimir during a brief visit to the Vatican on Monday afternoon, which some observers hope could improve ties between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches. Putin and the pope spoke privately for 35 minutes

Interfax: Patriarch Kirill opposed to any forms of convergence of church and state

Patriarch Kirill file photo

SMOLENSK. Nov 25 (Interfax) – The Russian Orthodox Church will advocate its independence, its head Patriarch Kirill has said. “The church is defending its freedom because it is sure that only its independence gives it the possibility of being a full-scale spiritual authority. Any form of convergence of the church and state is dangerous for

Interfax: Patriarch Kirill denies accusations of church dictate, says he is anti-clericals’ main target

Patriarch Kirill file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill says he sees no grounds for criticism by those who believe that the church is putting pressure on society and is growing into the state. “Look around you, at what surrounds you, at the TV programs, advertising, lifestyle, full restaurants during Lent. The

Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova is in Krasnoyarsk penitentiary – watchdog

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the convicted performers of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, has arrived at a penal colony in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory, a spokesman for the local branch of the Federal Penitentiary Institutions Service (FSIN) told Interfax on Thursday. Her family will be informed of that in due

Interfax: Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova still en route to new jail – human rights commissioner

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Interfax – November 5, 2013) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the convicted performers of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, who is currently being transported to a new penitentiary, is feeling well and eating properly, Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin told Interfax on Tuesday. “Acting at the request of several human rights campaigners, I got

RIA Novosti: Putin Gets Orthodox Award for Boosting Russia’s Global Role

Patriarch Kirill file photo

MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) ­ The head of the Russian Orthodox Church on Monday awarded Vladimir Putin with a prize in recognition of the president’s policies intended to make Russia a leading world power. The award was established this year by the World Russian People’s Council, a public organization under the aegis of the

Bishop: ethnic Russians discriminated against in south Russia

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – A senior Russian Orthodox bishop has claimed that Russian speakers “often suffer ethnic and religious discrimination” in regions in Russia’s North Caucasus where they are in the minority. “We are used to thinking that it is only smaller ethnic groups that need protection. That is not true. In many of

Interfax: Democracy is bigger lie than Communism – prominent Orthodox priest

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Protopope Dimitry Smirnov, the head of the patriarch’s commission on family and protection of mothers and children, believes that democracy is based on lies. “It’s just a lie. Communist is also a lie, but Communism has religious features. Communism seems to take a lot from true religions. The Communists have

Russian Orthodox Church calls for solution of vital social problems

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

(Interfax / Religion – Moscow, October 18, 2013) The Moscow Patriarchate has called on people of other religions for dialogue aimed at finding real solutions to social problems. “It is very important not to limit religious dialogue to statements on friendship and peace. We did it all under the Soviets and in the first years

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [partial transcript]

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Novgorod Region, September 19, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The theme of the club’s anniversary session is Russia’s Diversity for the Modern World. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that the place for your discussions,

Russians Have No Respect for Pussy Riot, Poll Says

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 13, 2013) Russians have no respect for Pussy Riot, a poll from Levada Center indicates. Out of a sample of 1,601 people surveyed in 130 urban centers, not a single respondent said that they respected the band. In August 2012, band members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alyokhina

Russian Intelligentsia Prepared to Overlook Navalny’s Nationalism

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, September 3, 2013) Driven by their hatred of Vladimir Putin as a personality and their lack of a place in today’s Russia, the liberal intelligentsia has been willing to overlook xenophobic, nationalist and even anti-Semitic remarks by Aleksey Navalny, even though such ugly comments would have ended

Uralkali Arrest Ratchets Up Moscow-Minsk Tension

Belarus Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 28, 2013) The Russian Foreign Ministry warned Tuesday that detention of the chief executive of potash giant Uralkali in Minsk could cause Moscow’s relations with Belarus to deteriorate as the conflict takes on political overtones. Putting Vladislav Baumgertner in a pretrial detention facility is “unacceptable” and

Lawyers Want Community Service for Pussy Riot – ­ Report

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 23, 2013) ­ Lawyers of the two jailed members of the Russian feminist punk protest group Pussy Riot are filing a petition to have their clients’ remaining jail time replaced with community service, a Russian daily reported Friday. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were sentenced to two years in jail

Pussy Riot’s Samutsevich intends to sue all three of her former lawyers

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 20, 2013) Pussy Riot punk band member Yekaterina Samutsevich, convicted to two years of a suspended sentence, has filed a lawsuit against her former lawyers Violetta Volkova, Nikolai Polozov and Mark Feigin. Samutsevich said she demanded to award her non-pecuniary damages for insulting statements regarding her. “The lawsuit has been filed

Slain priest Father Pavel was role model

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – August 12, 2013) Pavel Adelgeim, an outspoken Orthodox priest, was stabbed to death last week. His death was a tragic end to an equally tragic life. Father Pavel, as he was known to many, was the son of parents who suffered grievously from repressions in

‘Dissident’ Priest Stabbed to Death in Pskov

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 7, 2013) One of Russia’s most revered priests, widely considered a “dissident priest” for his strong criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, was stabbed to death on Monday night in the northwestern town of Pskov. Pavel Adelgeim, 75, was found dead by his wife late Monday,

Is Russia Turning Protestant?

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Voice of America – James Brooke, VOA Moscow Bureau Chief, covering Russia and the former USSR – July 30, 2013) RIO DE JANEIRO ­ In 1990, an American anthropologist wrote a controversial book: “Is Latin America Turning Protestant?” Two decades later, that same provocative question can be asked of Russia. Who will win: The Church

TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice conference

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Kremlin.ru – July 27, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the conference called Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, I just said goodbye before to President of Ukraine Mr Yanukovych. You also sent him your best wishes. Unfortunately, he has a strict schedule with a

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