Tag Archives: Russian Orthodox Church

“Beat her when you are alone together”: Domestic Violence in the Russian Tradition, Past and Present

by Nadieszda Kizenko | ру́сский

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On February 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law decriminalizing domestic violence. Now, the first instance of poboi—“actions which cause physical pain but do not lead to grave injury or loss of ability to work’’—will be treated as a misdemeanor rather than a criminal act. This means that the offender will incur a fine of 30,000 rubles (about $500), community service, or a fifteen-day detention. If the offender repeats the offense within a year, the second offense will be treated as a criminal act. If more than a year goes by, the slate is clean, and the repeat offense is once again a misdemeanor with no jail time.

This measure prompted a furious response, both in Russian social media and abroad, when it was first raised in the lower courts last June. It seemed as if the most vulnerable members of society were left without protection, and as if the state considered bloodying one’s wife and children somehow not serious. But the picture is more complicated than it seems. Continue Reading…

“Re-Christianizing” Russia

by John P. Burgess

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Orthodox Church has aspired to nothing less than “a second Christianization” of the Russian nation—a term that appears in its Missionary Concept of 2007. The Church has striven to revive Russia’s historic Orthodox identity by becoming, with state assistance, a comprehensive presence in society. Critics often note the price that the Church pays for close cooperation with the Putin government, but after a decade of tracking these developments on the ground, I see another, less well-known side to the story. “Re-Christianization,” whatever its political deficiencies, is also contributing much good to Russia. Continue Reading…