Following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation in February 2022, Orthodox voices have thoroughly rebutted the use of the “Russian World” (russkii mir) teaching, which claims that there is an organically unified transnational orthodox Christian Russian civilization that includes the territories and people of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and sometimes other nations, to justify the current war. This statement seeks a) to facilitate support from among non-Orthodox Christian scholars for the rejection of the “russkii mir” teaching; b) to reject unholy alliances between Christian identity and political power which have also emerged in the context of Christian Nationalism; and c) to call for the development of an ecumenical “Theology after Christendom”. We invite support from Christian scholars and clergy, and are open to those who do not share the Christian language of this statement, but who share its purpose.
“There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, Let not arrogance come from your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And by him actions are weighed”
As of 4 July 2020, the amendment to the Russian Constitution—first proposed by President Vladimir Putin in January, smoothly approved by the State Duma and Constitutional Court in March, and confirmed in a nationwide referendum with 78,56 per cent of votes—has taken effect. As widely reported, the main purpose of the amendment was to secure Putin the possibility of two more terms in office. But what significance does the constitutional amendment of 2020 have for the Russian Orthodox Church?
There are four places in the amended constitution which are the result of successful lobbying by the Moscow Patriarchate.
I tried to stay away from publicly expressing my thoughts on the current church/autocephaly crisis in Ukraine, for many reasons. First of all, there are much more competent people who know the situation better than I do. Second, the issue of autocephaly of the church in Ukraine has, by now, escalated so dramatically that one feels compelled to side either with the “pro-Russian” block or with the “pro-Ukrainian/pro-Constantinople” one. The “camps” seem to be so fortified, and the discussion so heated, that it seems difficult to formulate and express one’s opinion without taking a clear-cut “pro” or “contra” position.
In the end, however, I decided to write a short piece about the issue because I received about a dozen requests from various people to comment on the situation, and to give my view on the issues at stake.
Let me say at the beginning that I do not share the mainstream views when it comes to the issue of autocephaly in Ukraine. I will try to explain why. Continue Reading…
For most Christians residing in the West, the Kosovo “question” has long been forgotten. But for Serbs and other non-majority communities who live in Kosovo, the march of the international community toward ethnic zones in an independent Kosovo presents a genuine risk to our sacred shrines and our lives.
The lynchpin in the current international plan, wrongly supported by the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, calls for areas of “delimitation between Serbs and Albanians.” This would create ethnically pure territories within Kosovo, forcing over 80,000 Kosovo Serbs to leave their homes. This scenario would forever estrange our people from their historic sacred spaces and—as it has in all other instances across the globe—it will almost certainly lead to violence.
Those Serbs who believe that this compromise is necessary for the progress of the Serbian nation are not only forsaking their own cultural ancestry, but they are exchanging them for short-term gains that will neither create a better future for the Serbian people nor bring peace or stability for this region of Europe. This arrangement, in fact, is eerily similar to the one promoted by Milošević for Krajina, Croatia in 1995. We know only too well where that led: to ethnic cleansing and war. Continue Reading…