The Sunday Sign of the Russian Apocalypse

In an informal poll among LR staff members, this story has been universally agreed to be the single most repugnant piece of news we’ve ever published about Russia. It’s so repulsive that words fail us to describe the horror. So much for separation of church and state. We can only wonder what they did with the nation’s Muslim atheletes — ate them, maybe. The Moscow Times reports the blasphemy:

Russia’s Olympic team received religious icons and a crash course in Orthodox church history in China during a Kremlin cathedral service on Tuesday.

The athletes and their coaches also met with President Dmitry Medvedev for a pep talk for the Summer Games, which start in Beijing on Aug. 8.

“You are going to China as representatives of Russian Orthodoxy in a critical period of Russian-Chinese relations,” Bronnitsky Bishop Ambrosy said at the service in the 15th-century Assumption Cathedral.

The two countries have been mending once-strained ties, most recently ending a 300-year dispute with the signing of a pact demarcating their 4,300-kilometer border on July 21.

The bishop on Tuesday offered a brief history of Russian Orthodoxy in China, noting that the church had suffered because of a lack of religious freedom in the country. “Unfortunately, the life of our religion has struggled during the 20th century in China,” he said.

However, he said, the athletes will be able to worship in Orthodox churches in Beijing.

He extended to the athletes a blessing from Patriarch Alexy II, who was home resting from a recent trip to Kiev.

Before the church service, the entire Olympic delegation attended a meeting with a cautiously optimistic Medvedev in the Grand Kremlin Palace. “Today, we won’t make any forecasts, but all Olympians should know that we support you with all our hearts,” Medvedev said in televised excerpts of his address.

Athletes said they appreciated the attention from the president and the church. “The meeting with Medvedev was official and spectacular and was meant to give us confidence,” said Yevdokia Grechishnikova, who will compete in the modern pentathlon in Beijing. “The blessing, however, was for our souls. Without it, going to China would be hard.”

“God always helps,” said Lyudmila Bodniyeva, a member of Russia’s first Olympic women’s handball squad. “I’m glad that we’ve been promised Orthodox services in Beijing.” In a brief discussion with reporters before the church service, a priest said attendance was optional and that only one-third of Russia’s 467 athletes and coaches were expected to show up.

Francesco Cuzzolin, an Italian assistant coach for the men’s basketball team and a Roman Catholic, said he attended the church service out of curiosity. “This is just like what happens at the Vatican for the Italian delegation, but 200 times smaller,” he said.

The entire delegation was dressed in team outfits — blazers emblazoned with the double-headed eagle and sneakers and shirts patterned in a Russian folk style. Male athletes wore blue and cream, while women were in red. “I’m not sure how we look individually, but as a whole, we make a beautiful impression,” Bodniyeva said of the uniform made by Bosco Sport, a general sponsor of the the country’s Olympic team.

At the end of the church service, athletes were given diptych icons encased in red and blue velvet. The athletes hurried out of the Kremlin and onto Red Square, blocked off to visitors for the afternoon, for a buffet that included asparagus sushi and white chocolate-covered strawberries. An actor dressed as the Olympic team’s mascot, the fuzzy, giant-eared Cheburashka, was present on Red Square to greet the athletes, who for the most part ignored the creature while they ate their lunch.

The Olympic delegation will leave for Beijing over the course of the next week, according to the Russian Olympic Committee’s press office.

8 responses to “The Sunday Sign of the Russian Apocalypse

  1. Sergiyev Posad

    Why do you hate Russian Orthodox Christianity so much?

  2. Why do you read our post so little?

    What we hate is the manipulation of the church by the Kremlin to propogate dictatorship and frenzied, self-destructive nationalism.

  3. Vladimir Zhirinovsky

    Because, after all, America has certainly retained its own separation of church and state…oh wait…it hasn’t.

    Religion is nothing but a tool to manipulate the masses. It is the same in any country.

  4. Actually, there are many Supreme Court decisions striking down government action to mix church and state. Can you point to a single one from Russia?

    Can you point to an example of America using a single religious faith to bolster its Olympic team?

    America, by the way, is by far the most relgiously diverse nation on the planet.

    Do you have anything substantive whatsoever to contribute other than your own silly opinion?

    And by the way, since when is America the standard for Russia? Must Russia copy America now in all things according to you? If so we are glad to agree! If not, try to think at least a little before you speak, otherwise you just embarass yourself.

  5. This is one of the funniest things I have ever read:

    “The bishop on Tuesday offered a brief history of Russian Orthodoxy in China, noting that the church had suffered because of a lack of religious freedom in the country. “Unfortunately, the life of our religion has struggled during the 20th century in China,” he said.”

    This comes from another rooshan orthodox dome-headed wizard, who comes from roosha, where for over 70 years the country did everything it could to stamp OUT religion, and then simply co-opted it and formed the rooshan KGB orthodox church, where priests were KGB agents, and it existed as the only “official” church.

    Even today, the arrogant rooshan orthodox wizards are tied in with the government. The chief wizard, Alexey, squealed like a pig because he felt that he was not greeted warmly enough in Ukraine recently, during the celebration in Ukraine of 1,020 years of Christianity.

    And even today, roosha tries to stamp out Protestantism and other religions in roosha.

    There is only one religion in roosha today – Putinism.

    The rooshan government even put in an official protest to Ukraine, claiming that the rooshan orthodox in Ukraine are somehow not treated right.

    The wizard-bishop has his costume on too tight, and it cut off the circulation to his brain.

    Typical schizoid stupid rooskie – with a costume.

  6. Repugnant? Repulsive? Your own words condemn you, and show your true colors. Notice the comment by the Italian: “This is just like what happens at the Vatican for the Italian delegation, but 200 times smaller.” So it’s okay for Italy, but not for Russia? You people at LaRu simply don’t have a clue. You guys are clueless about Russia, and especially about Orthoox Christianity.

    BTW, I’m a Reagan Conservative Republican, and always have been. I am a proud US military veteran, and have put my life on the line fighting the Communist Menace. Reagan, Sakharov, Politkovskaya, and others like them would NEVER have defended your insulting, ethno-racist, and paranoic words. It’s one thing to report honestly, and another to insult and denigrate with such venomous and hateful words, totally twisting the meaning of positive actions. These are the exact same tactics clasically used by the Communists. Shame, shame on you!

  7. What is the God mentioned in the inscription on the US dollars? Allah? Or the Chinese Heaven? Or some ecumenistic Supreme Force? It’s the Christian Trinity.


    In your typical Russophile igorancem, you fail to understand the difference between CHURCH and RELIGION. Russia is establishing a specific church, not a religion, and specifically using that church to try to achieve the goals of the state. We challenged you to give an example of America doing this, and you can’t.


    Who said it was OK for Italy? Hitler murdered Jews, does that mean it was “OK” for him to murder Russians? You are sick in the head, dude. This blog is about Russia, not Italy. Whenever Russia is compared by Westerners to themselves on Democracy, Russians say they are “a different country” that can’t be so compared. Yet, whenever Russians want to justify their barbarism, they just point to a Western example.

    Totally lame and pathetic. You can’t defend Russians on their own merits because there is no such defense. Your own words betray your stupidity and your arrogance.

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