Russian Orthodox Believers Begin Christmas Celebrations

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Orthodox believers flocked to churches on Monday to attend Christmas services with some 6,000 people attending the service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called on the believers to “follow the Savior’s path of love” and to “always think about the wellbeing of all […]

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Patriarch Kirill urges Christian Orthodox bloggers to stop insulting each other

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

MOSCOW. Jan 1 (Interfax) – Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill has said that the diversity of ideas inherent in church circles sometimes assumes absurd forms in the Internet environment. “In the web space groups of church liberals and conservatives are appearing that are not looking for the truth, divine truth but a means of finding fault, stinging […]

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2012: the year the Kremlin lost control of the script

Kremlin Aeriel View file photo

(Peter Pomerantsev – www.opendemocracy.net – December 28, 2012) Peter Pomerantsev is a British TV producer. For many years, he sold British programmes to the Russian TV industry. He now lives in London. Throughout the Putin heyday, Russian political discourse was invented, manipulated and owned by a handful of Kremlin spin doctors. Over the last year, that changed. Though they failed […]

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Few Russians celebrate Western-style Christmas – poll

File Photo of Typical American Christmas Dinner Table

(Interfax – December 25, 2012) Only 7 percent of Russians celebrate Western-style Christmas, according to a Levada Center survey obtained by Interfax. The indicator stood at 5 percent in 2011, 6 percent in 2006, and 19 percent in 2003. It seems Russians are bracing for the long New Year holiday season, Levada Center said. The majority of Russians celebrating Western-style […]

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Church estimates for Orthodox believers halved – poll

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

(Alina Lobzina – Moscow News –  themoscownews.com – December 19, 2012) The number of Russian Christians came under scrutiny after polls registered dwindling ranks of the faithful. The most surprising finding was that only 41 percent of all Russians say they are members of the Russian Orthodox Church, according to a poll carried out by Sreda, a research service. This […]

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Putin Pictured in Hell on The Economist Cover

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Moscow Times – December 20, 2012 – http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/putin-pictured-in-hell-on-the-economist-cover/473430.html) The cartoon’s accompanying article, which is presented as a travel guide, says the quickest way to hell is by constantly committing major sins without giving in to feelings of remorse. President Vladimir Putin was pictured in hell on the cover of The Economist‘s last issue for 2012, floating along in a fiery […]

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Number of Orthodox Church members shrinking in Russia, Islam on the rise – poll

Russian Mosque File Photo

MOSCOW. Dec 17 (Interfax) – Orthodoxy is the most common religion in Russia. Seventy-four percent call themselves Orthodox believers, while 7% say they are Muslims. Less than 1% profess other religions (Catholics, Protestants, Jews and others), the Yuri Levada analytical center told Interfax on Monday. The center polled 1,600 people in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions in late […]

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Pussy Riot Clip Classified as Extremist

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Nov. 30, 2012) A city court has declared Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” video extremist, meaning that media outlets can face closure for publishing the all-female band’s famous performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. Thursday’s far-reaching decision also means that hosting platforms like YouTube must remove the video for Russian users […]

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Daghestani Brothers Struggle To Bridge Religious, Political Divides

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(RFE/RL – Uma Isakova – Nov. 28, 2012) An uneasy peace holds between Ruslan and Rustam Shapiyev in the Daghestani village of Komsomolskoye. Younger brother Rustam, who has taken the name Abubakar, says he loves and respects his older brother, who has adopted the name Magomed. “Of course, a brother is a brother. We are obligated to maintain kinship ties,” […]

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Real Russians Are Orthodox ­- Poll

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

MOSCOW, November 23 (RIA Novosti) ­ A growing number of Russians consider the Russian Orthodox Church to be a necessary feature of their national identity, a recent public opinion poll showed. Some 38 percent of survey respondents said it was “very important” to be an Orthodox believer if one wants to be considered “an authentic Russian,” according to a report […]

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Samutsevich Threatens Past Pussy Riot Lawyers

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – November 21, 2012) Yekaterina Samutsevich, the Pussy Riot rocker released from jail last month, is thinking about requesting that three of the band’s former lawyers be stripped of their licenses, her new lawyer told Kommersant. Sergei Badamshin said in an interview published Tuesday that the past lawyers ­ Violeta Volkova, Mark Feigin […]

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Most Russians see Patriarch Kirill as national spiritual leader

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – November 20, 2012) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is known to most Russians, and 62 percent of citizens polled recently know his name, the VTSIOM pollster told Interfax. Most respondents best informed about the Russian patriarch are pensioners or citizens of pre-pension age (respectively 72 percent and 71 percent), and also citizens with a higher education […]

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Billionaire Businessman Says Putin Sent “From God”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2012) Gazprom contractor and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, 60, has said that his childhood friend President Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia “from God.” Rotenberg, a longtime judo sparring partner of Putin’s who has investments in the construction and finance industries, is ranked as Russia’s 94th wealthiest man by Forbes with a personal fortune […]

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Putin admits grassroots anti-Semitism still exists in Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – Novo-Ogarevo, 7 November) Grassroots anti-Semitism still exists in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted. “You have said that there is less anti-Semitism now, but this means that it still exists,” he said on Wednesday (7 November) at his meeting with chief rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar and president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Aleksandr […]

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NEWSLINK: Prospect of show trial stirs some Russians’ memories of Stalinism; Some Russian activists are drawing parallels between a potential ‘mega-trial’ for leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. But the comparison remains controversial.

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Prospect of show trial stirs some Russians’ memories of Stalinism; Some Russian activists are drawing parallels between a potential ‘mega-trial’ for leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. But the comparison remains controversial. – Christian Science Monitor – By Fred Weir – October 30, 2012 – http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2012/1030/Prospect-of-show-trial-stirs-some-Russians-memories-of-Stalinism) The Christian Science Monitor reports on concerns by some onlookers […]

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Putin’s favourite monastery. The wooded island of Valaam, in a large lake in northern Russia, is a beacon for Russian Orthodox believers – among them President Putin.

Valaam file photo showing Monastery church on wooded island

From: Lucy Ash <lucy.ash.05@bbc.co.uk> Subject: BBC online stories Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2012 Audio slide show for “Putin’s favourite monastery. The wooded island of Valaam, in a large lake in northern Russia, is a beacon for Russian Orthodox believers – among them President Putin.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20041504

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Pope Supports Russian Church’s Position on Vandalism

Russian Orthodox Cathedral Moscow file photo

MOSCOW, October 18 (RIA Novosti) – Pope Benedict XVI has agreed with the Russian Orthodox Church’s position regarding acts of vandalism in downtown Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, the Church said. “Pope Benedict XVI has expressed solidarity with the Russian Orthodox Church’s position on the issue and perplexity over the reaction of a number of media to these events,” the […]

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Pussy Riot and the party line: Why was Samutsevich set free? The answer is simpler than you think

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

(Moscow News –  themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 15, 2012) Sometimes, the best indication of what’s going on in Russian politics ­ and Pussy Riot is clearly a case of Russian politics ­ comes from simply reading the official line. Forget the experts and the oppositionists, just turn on the TV, curb your instinctive vitriol, and try to take […]

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Curing Homosexuality in Russia and Ukraine

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – Leonid Bershidsky, an editor and novelist, is Moscow and Kiev correspondent for World View – October 10, 2012) Forget gay marriage. In Russia and Ukraine, politicians are treating homosexuality like a curable addiction — and even a crime. Last week, acting on a widespread popular belief that sexual orientation is a matter of […]

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Samutsevich was freed because she didn’t have time to shout in church – judge

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

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) – The Moscow City Court has evaluated the degree of every Pussy Riot member’s participation in the stunt in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The court found that Yekaterina Samutsevich did not shout in the cathedral and she was freed. “Samutsevich, like the others, put on a cap, took out her guitar, got into a […]

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Russia Is Turning Into Iran

Russian Duma Building

By Michael Bohm – Moscow Times –  themoscowtimes.com – September 28, 2012 Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times. On Tuesday, members of the four parties represented in the State Duma introduced a bill that would carry a three-year prison sentence for “insulting the religious feelings of others.” Given the bill’s widespread support in the Kremlin and […]

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