Putin

ROCOR Commentary on the February Revolution: Blame the West and Link Putin to the Tsars

by Lena Zezulin

february revolution

It is sad, if understandable, that the Russian state and society remained almost mute on the anniversary of the February/March 1917 Revolution. There is no consensus on those events.

It should therefore be welcome that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which has existed independently outside the Soviet state, professed anti-communism, glorified the New Martyrs, and defended the human rights of clergy and other dissidents, raised its voice to mark the event. It was welcome that the Church reminded us of the persecutions against the faithful, the glorification of the New Martyrs, and of the need to bury the carcass of Lenin.

Unfortunately, what ROCOR provided was little more than pro-Putin rhetoric. Continue Reading…

Putin’s Unorthodox Orthodoxy

by Aristotle Papanikolaou and George Demacopoulos

Yesterday, the New York Times published an essay exposing and critiquing the ways that Vladimir Putin is exploiting Orthodox Christianity in order to project international significance.  In the summer of 2014, we raised these issues in an op-ed piece we wrote for a blog hosted by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and examined why both Orthodox and Western audiences readily consume a flawed understanding of Orthodox teaching. We have reposted our original piece below.

Pundits from both America and Europe have recently ascribed religious motivations to the actions of Vladimir Putin. Is Orthodox Christianity to blame for his militant incursions, reactionary policies, or anti-Western rhetoric?

Absolutely not.

The notion that the Ukrainian crisis has religious causes is both factually wrong and religiously offensive. What’s worse, it is politically foolish, playing directly into Putin’s preferred narrative of a culture war. Continue Reading…