This text initially appeared on a brand new website concerning the Christian renaissance in Russia, known as Russian Religion. Their introductory video is at finish of this text.
President Putin of Russia and President Lukashenko of Belarus within the throne room of the Moscow Patriarch. Along with Ukraine, Russia and Belarus kind Holy Rus’. Observe the blue and gold Ukrainian Flag displayed proudly between Putin and Patriarch Kirill, together with all the opposite flags of Russian Orthodox Lands.
Some of the frequent criticisms of organised faith is that it includes itself within the affairs of politics and warfare.
Individuals say: “Why are non secular leaders getting concerned in political discussions? Politics is Politics, faith is faith, by no means ought to the 2 meet.”
Non-religious individuals level to the Papal States and the Spanish Inquisition as examples of faith being too political. Likewise, many spiritual individuals have cheap issues that faith might be corrupted by politics and used for nefarious ends.
In the meantime, all through historical past, there has at all times been a detailed relationship between the Orthodox Church and numerous states; that is true from the instances of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire to the Russian Empire and even in trendy nations corresponding to Greece, Romania, and, in fact, Russia.
“Ought to the Orthodox Church have a detailed relationship with the State?”
In Orthodox nations, the reply is apparent – in fact, it ought to!
However ought to the Church contain itself within the State, which can contain itself within the harmful affairs of politics and warfare?
Sure, as a result of the Orthodox Church, doesn’t see itself as a lot as an “invisible church, a physique of the elect” however as a non secular hospital.
Our Father Among the many Saints, John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople says:
Enter into the Church and wash away your sins. For right here there’s a hospital and never a court docket of legislation. Don’t be ashamed once more to enter the Church, be ashamed while you sin, however not while you repent.
The Orthodox Church at all times noticed it at first as a spot to heal individuals from a mortally in poor health situation, the illness of sin.
In Orthodox theology, the time period mortally in poor health is kind of literal; Orthodox individuals imagine that demise is the direct results of sin.
That is the Orthodox understanding of authentic sin, reasonably than making us all born “responsible”, we imagine authentic sin contaminated the human race with a terminal sickness – demise, and a keenness for demise.
The place are hospitals and clinics most wanted on the planet greater than wherever else? In locations the place individuals are the sickest, in locations of warfare and struggling.
Whereas the Church cherishes her dignity as an ivory tower rising from a metropolis surrounded by seven hills and 7 partitions, she can be a missionary church.
Her individuals, particularly her clergy, go the place they’re known as and most wanted.
If politics and warfare are the place the darkest human actions are expressed, then that’s precisely the place the Church have to be, to be a lighthouse on moonless nights to steer souls to protected harbour.
One would possibly go so far as to say it’s the opinion of Orthodoxy, particularly Russian Orthodoxy, that the Church should contain itself in warfare and politics to forestall warfare and pacify the darker facet of political intrigue.
Though Individuals and their comparatively younger civilization guarantee the world that the Church and State have to be separate, Russians really imagine that eradicating or separating the Church from the State destroys one other very best Individuals maintain very expensive, particularly: checks and balances.
For Russians, the Church is an ethical test on the State. Have been it not for the Russian Orthodox Church, Russia might have been destroyed many instances by each overseas enemies and home fifth columns.
One might say that the Russian State – probably the most historical states and the birthplace of patriotism – originated from the Orthodox Church as a result of it was by the Baptism of Rus’ that Saint Vladimir of Kiev united Russia.
These two entities can’t be actually separated in Orthodox nations as a result of in lots of circumstances it was the Church which first shaped the nationwide consciousness of the nation itself, or preserved it throughout instances of occupation. As President Putin himself has stated, it isn’t doable to think about Russia with out the Orthodox Church.
Furthermore, Russians keep in mind what occurred when Russian revolutionaries carried out Communism, a overseas ideology (invented by German and English thinkers) which, at first, tried to sever the traditional relationship between Church and State.
Communism, actually overseas to the Russian context, was bodily imported into Russia, when the German Empire, throughout WW1, secretly returned Lenin to Russia so he might unfold the plague of revolution, one thing more practical and lethal than any organic weapon.
The Russia-hating revolutionaries tried to separate the Church from the State as a result of they knew that it will destroy each. And as a result of they knew they may by no means corrupt the State with out first attacking its ethical basis.
Russians keep in mind nicely what it was wish to reside underneath a system that hated the Church.
When Lenin and his Bolshevik elk tried to take away the Church from ALL facets of Russian life, these saboteurs and traitors promised that with out the Church corrupting the state, politics might grow to be actually targeted on serving to humanity, and Russia would thrive.
The outcome, nonetheless, was really the countless destruction of Russian lives.
“The Market Place of Our Democracy” by Glazunov depicts the inevitable results of not solely Communism, however the pernicious results of the “westernizing” pattern we skilled in our nation within the 1990’s. Russia, her individuals, and tradition had been successfully prostituted like Biblical Israel in heathen Babylonian or Egyptian captivity.
It’s when the Russian Church and State function in symphony, that the reflowering of Orthodoxy in Russia turns into doable.
The Russian State and Church are like two heads on an eagle with the identical physique, they function otherwise, however they’re each essential to the survival of the entire.
This relationship could be very sensible as nicely.
Patriarch Kirill spoke completely when he addressed sailors of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk in 2016. His Holiness stated the Church attaches “[a] very nice significance to cooperation with the Armed Forces”.
Critics instantly cease right here, and use this for example of the Church being overly politicised, or supportive of violence, but when they might solely learn on, they might see the Patriarch believes this relationship helps guarantee peace!
The Patriarch stated that the situation of servicemen’s souls is “a vital a part of sustaining peace.”
Have cynics ever stopped to think about that possibly if the Church had been extra concerned with the state, and if Monks had been amongst the troopers of their darkest hours, they may deliver gentle into the nights of warfare?
Russian servicemen definitely do, when requested in the event that they wished extra Monks of their ranks, the outcome was an amazing Da!
The Church maintains the non secular well-being of Russian servicemen as a result of this isn’t solely good for them and Russia, however as Russia is a nuclear energy, the presence of the Church and her mission for peace amongst the Russian army is a assure of world peace.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Ignatius IV of Antioch (+2012), the chief of Syrian Christians. Antioch, the traditional capital of Syria is the place, in keeping with the Bible, the disciples of Jesus Christ had been first known as Christian. (Acts 11:26). Syrian President Assad, (pictured in indicators), is a protector of Christians in Syria, believing them an inseparable a part of the nations historical past.
Patriarch Kirill urged President Putin to guard Christians in Syria, and Putin answered the decision.
Similar to Saint Vladimir Svyatoslavich of Kiev despatched his elite Varangian “Viking” Guard to the Roman Empire to combat jihadists, Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] is combating terrorism to avoid wasting Christians in Syria.
Should you disagree, I dare you to go to an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and ask Syrian immigrants to let you know their tales, and to ask them which nation is admittedly serving to them.
What you hear could shock you.
So subsequent time you assume to interrupt a thousand yr union, ask your self this, when was the final time you’ve seen a western chief bow and kiss the relics of Saint Nicholas himself?
A video introducing Russian Religion