I just listened to a Radio 4 documentary on the increasingly tight relationship between the Putin government and hardliners in the Russian Orthodox Church. It revolves around the Pussy Riot case but highlights a trend in Russian society that is extremely scary.
A series of religious figures and politicians declare that any criticism of the church threatens Russian society and amounts to a crime and deserves some serious punishment. It all sounds faintly deranged and medieval, spoken in the quiet voices of those confident in their authority, and it’s made worse by the fact that they have the support of a big proportion of the public and they are slowly getting their way. One of the most powerful nations on Earth is absorbing the church into an increasingly oppressive autocracy.
For years I’ve sympathised with liberals and religious sceptics in the States, who if they live in the wrong part of the country endure some serious stick for not going along with the fundamentalist orthodoxy. But at least they’re living in a democracy, and for now at least the framework of law in the country is relatively sane. What’s going on in Russia is worse, the criminalisation of secular expression, not least because a large part of the population seems ready to go along with it.
Those of us who live in secular, civilised societies can shudder, turn away and get on with our lives, comfortable in knowing that we can criticise a church without ending up in court. But Russia’s still a major power, it has economic and military influence, and if the church begins to dominate the country’s ethical dialogue it can plant some dangerous seeds for the future. Just think of Iran with a larger army, a nuclear bomb, and a bunch of billionaires pressing flesh with the powerful all over the world.
I don’t know what we in the West can do about it, and suspect the answer is nothing – but I hope it doesn’t last.
Reproduced from Mark Say's South London Scribe blog.

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Comment by Michael on October 3, 2012 at 10:26pm

I have spoken at length on this site of the rise of Orthodoxy in Russia. It is no secret that the Orthodox Church is pro-Romanov Dynasty as was instrumental in the families current state of adoration by the faithful. The Romonov's are of the House of Oldenburg. One of the three Houses that must be uprooted in the future by the coming Caesar/ Csar/ Tsar/ Fuhrer. Notably the prophesies speak of three houses / kings being uprooted. I take these to be the House of Hapsburg, House of Oldenburg and the House of Bourbon. These are the Houses that dominate kingdoms in Europe today and must be uprooted with the return to Imperial Roman Empire. Currently the EU is pushing eastward with Turkey at its steps. the assimilations of Turkey is just a matter of time. Next the current dialogue between the Latin Rite and the Orthodox Rite will help forge the reemergence of Christian Roman Empire, before the great apostasy of Imperial Empire with Emperor worship. Before this the cities of Rome and Constantinople, the seats of both the Latin and Orthodox Rite will regain dominance and blow life into the future apostasy. "Who is like the Beast and who can make war with it?. Putin is currently a defacto Czar of Russia, ominous sign of things to come.

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