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Author Topic: Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church  (Read 695 times) Average Rating: 0
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Papist
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« on: December 09, 2011, 04:59:40 PM »

Now, please be kind because I have litte to no knowledge about the nature of Church and state relations in Russia. However, based on my perception from what I have seen here on this board, perhaps  you can clear up some issues for me. First, from what I have seen and what I have been told, secularism has quite a stronghold in Russia, as a small minority attend Church every Sunday, whether they are Orthodox or not. However, on the flip side, it appears that the state and the Church have a profoundly strong relationship, and that the Russian Church exercises great influence over the affairs of the state. Again I could be wrong, but this is how I perceive it (NOTE: I think it's a good thing that the Russian Orthodox Church has great influence over the state). That being said, it appears to be a great contradiction: A population that lives highly secular lives and very close relationship between the state and the Church. Can some one help to understand how these opposing forces affect the situation in Russia? How did the Church attain such influence in this climate?

Thanks,
Chris
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 05:26:32 PM »

This is a guess on my part, but it may have something to do with the fall of Communism in the late 1980s and the fact that since then, people have regained the rights to more free speech and practice of religion. They can now do things that would have gotten them sent to jail in the Communist days. So, maybe the closeness between church and state comes from that.
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 05:33:30 PM »

This is a guess on my part, but it may have something to do with the fall of Communism in the late 1980s and the fact that since then, people have regained the rights to more free speech and practice of religion. They can now do things that would have gotten them sent to jail in the Communist days. So, maybe the closeness between church and state comes from that.

That and the relations of the Moscow Patriarchate under communism with the state. While not always good, the Patriarchate was in some part still influential.

As for a small minority going to church, this is the case in all Orthodox countries. Regular Sunday church attendance in post-communist countries is not the norm, but more and more people identify with Christianity as their faith. Now, what they actually understand of it or how they practice it are other matters. However, with the exception of Byzantium where interest in theological niceties was popular (although not often salvific), modern and ancient Orthodox peoples, on the whole, are not well educated spiritually.
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 06:22:14 PM »

they are a bit (only a bit!) like anglicans in the uk.
here is a typical conversation:
what's your religion?
...anglican / orthodox (delete as appropriate).
how often to you go to church?
...Christmas and weddings.
do you believe in God?
...well there's something up there, isn't there? so, i suppose, yes.
do you believe in hell?
...well, not really, i mean it doesn't sound very nice.
how often do you read the Bible?
...do what??

this is what u get when you allow the church to be compromised, liberalised and used a tool of the state to control the masses (yes, that happened too in the uk, just it was more than 100 years ago).

it seems the moscow patriarchate is doing a lot to make up for the damaged years, may God give them wisdom and may they never fall back into placating the state.
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2012, 11:49:18 AM »

Like ROCOR.
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 12:02:32 PM »

Now, please be kind because I have litte to no knowledge about the nature of Church and state relations in Russia. However, based on my perception from what I have seen here on this board, perhaps  you can clear up some issues for me. First, from what I have seen and what I have been told, secularism has quite a stronghold in Russia, as a small minority attend Church every Sunday, whether they are Orthodox or not. However, on the flip side, it appears that the state and the Church have a profoundly strong relationship, and that the Russian Church exercises great influence over the affairs of the state. Again I could be wrong, but this is how I perceive it (NOTE: I think it's a good thing that the Russian Orthodox Church has great influence over the state). That being said, it appears to be a great contradiction: A population that lives highly secular lives and very close relationship between the state and the Church. Can some one help to understand how these opposing forces affect the situation in Russia? How did the Church attain such influence in this climate?

Thanks,
Chris
Have you ever been to Italy?
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2012, 12:13:39 PM »

However, on the flip side, it appears that the state and the Church have a profoundly strong relationship, and that the Russian Church exercises great influence over the affairs of the state. Again I could be wrong, but this is how I perceive it.
This is only how it has been put forward to me, but it is my understanding that this is part of a program for a restored Russian nationalism. The Russian Church, for better or ill, is a symbol of Russia's former -- and, in their mind, coming -- greatness. Add in the Third and Final Rome polemic, and it all starts to make sense...
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2012, 12:45:36 PM »

Like ROCOR.

What's like ROCOR?
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 12:46:33 PM »

do you believe in hell?
...well, not really, i mean it doesn't sound very nice.

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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 12:48:42 PM »

Now, please be kind because I have litte to no knowledge about the nature of Church and state relations in Russia. However, based on my perception from what I have seen here on this board, perhaps  you can clear up some issues for me. First, from what I have seen and what I have been told, secularism has quite a stronghold in Russia, as a small minority attend Church every Sunday, whether they are Orthodox or not. However, on the flip side, it appears that the state and the Church have a profoundly strong relationship, and that the Russian Church exercises great influence over the affairs of the state. Again I could be wrong, but this is how I perceive it (NOTE: I think it's a good thing that the Russian Orthodox Church has great influence over the state). That being said, it appears to be a great contradiction: A population that lives highly secular lives and very close relationship between the state and the Church. Can some one help to understand how these opposing forces affect the situation in Russia? How did the Church attain such influence in this climate?

Thanks,
Chris
Have you ever been to Italy?

Or Poland?
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2012, 12:56:48 PM »

Now, please be kind because I have litte to no knowledge about the nature of Church and state relations in Russia. However, based on my perception from what I have seen here on this board, perhaps  you can clear up some issues for me. First, from what I have seen and what I have been told, secularism has quite a stronghold in Russia, as a small minority attend Church every Sunday, whether they are Orthodox or not. However, on the flip side, it appears that the state and the Church have a profoundly strong relationship, and that the Russian Church exercises great influence over the affairs of the state. Again I could be wrong, but this is how I perceive it (NOTE: I think it's a good thing that the Russian Orthodox Church has great influence over the state). That being said, it appears to be a great contradiction: A population that lives highly secular lives and very close relationship between the state and the Church. Can some one help to understand how these opposing forces affect the situation in Russia? How did the Church attain such influence in this climate?

Thanks,
Chris
Have you ever been to Italy?

Or Poland?
Has secularism spread to Poland?  When I was there in 1987, it hadn't.  I've noticed that many Poles who didn't mind the Vatican getting involved in Polish affairs under communism have now told it to mind its own business, now that the Pope's legions have defeated Stalin's.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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