Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cultivates the image of a bare-chested macho man, but a nun-like sect in central Russia thinks actually he’s the reincarnation of St. Paul, the apostle.
Or, if not that, he may in a past life have been the founder of the Russian Orthodox Church.
“I say what the Lord has revealed to me,” the sect’s leader, former convict Svetlana Frolova, said.
Putin’s advisers disclaim any link with the sect led by the former railway manager, who was jailed for fraud in 1996.
“He (Putin) does not approve of that kind of admiration,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said by telephone.
Signs of the Neo-Soviet Apocalypse
“It would be good to draw up an all-Russian dress code. You think that is a utopia? It is not. People will soon have to get used to it.”
That was Russian Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Orthodox Church’s department for relations between the church and society, talking about the women of his country, who he says are “barely dressed or made up like a clown will certainly not find a man as a partner in life with an ounce of sense or self-respect.” He says, with typical Russian bluntness, that they deserve to be raped, and that the Putin dictatorship will save them from themselves by imposing a dress code, a remarkably similar attitude to what they have in places like Saudi Arabia and other fanatical religious states.
And make no mistake, dear reader: This is a powerful Russian connected directly to the neo-Soviet Kremlin. The dress code could become reality any second. So could legalized rape.
The indispensable Paul Goble reports:
Fewer than two percent of Russian citizens attended Orthodox Christmas church celebrations this year, a number that calls into question not only the claims of the Moscow Patriarchate that Russian population is overwhelmingly Orthodox but also the special relationship it has with the state and the state’s spending to promote Orthodoxy.
As Svetlana Solodovnik noted in Yezhednevny Zhurnal, perhaps no other public organization has benefited as much from the tandem as the Russian Orthodox Church which has positioned itself as the moral arbiter of the majority and extracted both the return of property and enormous state subsidies.
Oh come, all ye faithful!
Oh Holy Putin!
Our stomachs were turned last week by the revolting news that Russian children were being encouraged by the Kremlin to offer up Orthodox prayers of worship to their new god, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Here are the horrifying details:
Even as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied that a personality cult has grown around him, news broke Thursday that St. Petersburg children were being encouraged to pray that God bless Putin and shield him from “demoniacal temptation.” St. Petersburg’s Suvorov Military College presented printed Orthodox prayers to talented local children aged 8 to 14 who were invited to an International Children’s Day event at Tavrichesky Palace on June 1, Yelena Sakhno, who helped organize the event, said Thursday. The prayers were among the gifts tucked into goody bags distributed to the 150 children. “We didn’t consider the inclusion of Orthodox literature among the presents to be reprehensible,” Sakhno told The Moscow Times. “The prayer for the head of state is traditional in the canons of the church service,” she added. “The Prayer for the President,” first reported by Fontanka.ru, calls on God to “send Your Archangel Mikhail to the aid of Your servants Dmitry and Vladimir” and to “shatter” their enemies and save them from “demoniacal temptation.” The text echoes the Russian Orthodox Church’s “Prayer to Archangel Mikhail.”
Let’s be perfectly clear: The Putin regime is establishing an official state religion in Russia, and doing so for the most crass of political motives. It is ignoring the reality that Russia is rapidly becoming a Muslim nation and creating an oppressive, powder-keg scenario of religious exclusion totally contrary to the principles of the Russian Constitution solely so that the Kremlin can use religion (Russia’s current patriarch is a former KGB agent) to leverage its power and control.
Paul Goble reports:
In its drive to build a tight power vertical in the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate has crossed another and dangerous line, employing for the first time the language it has traditionally used for religious sectarians to describe a Russian Orthodox prelate whose only “crime” is his refusal to subordinate himself and his flock to Moscow.
A press release from the Odessa bishopric of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, described the Orthodox community of the Synod led by Metropolitan Agafangel, who has broken with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia now that the latter has established ties with Moscow in truly ugly ways.
The Putin Pogrom
“Large-scale and systematic persecution.”
That is how the latest report from the Liberty of Conscience Institute characterizes Vladimir Putin’s policy towards religions other than the state-sponsored Russian Orthodox Church.
The Kremlin’s attack on non-Orthodox religions is beginning with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, an easy target. Last month, Russia’s highest court banned their activities and authorized burning their literature. Many Russophiles will say: So what? The Witnesses, they will say, are a bunch of extremist freaks that Russia is better off without.
But those Russophiles are not well versed in developed Western political thought. Those of us who are understand that one cannot preserve religions diversity without allowing extremist freaks. They are the price of diversity and liberty.
If you choose not to pay that price, then you pay a very different and much worse price. You end up with a monolithic dictatorship which cannot be creative, which stifles and destroys rather than encouraging and building, which is unable to adapt. You end up with, in short, the USSR.
Russia and its “Religon”
Last week, Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Pope, spoke about ” a country of poverty and crime, hunger, drug addiction, corruption, and a loss of moral values.” He opined that “many of these troubles are caused primarily not by failed social policy but by defects in the depths of the human spirit.”
Even though Russia is documented as being one of the most corrupt and immoral nations on the planet, with a raging drug and AIDS epidemic, horrendous crime and one of the highest murder rates on the planet, to say nothing of its vast ocean of poor folks (the average worker earns just $3 per hour, so imagine how the poor are doing) and its obscene disparity between rich and poor, Kirill was not speaking about Russia. Instead, he was referring to Haiti, which he apparently believes got what it deserved when it was rocked by an earthquake that killed 150,000 of its men, women and children.
Kirill apparently feels that since a natural disaster hasn’t struck Russia recently, this proves Russia is a moral nation which enjoys God’s blessings and approval. But what about the Beslan and Dubrovka terrorist attacks, and the conflagration of fires that kills thousands of Russians every year, more than in any other nation on Earth. Aren’t they signs of divine condemnation of Russia, of Putin and indeed of Kirill himself? What of the fact that Russians don’t rank in the top 130 nations of the world for average adult lifespan? Isn’t that, too, proof that God reviles Russia?