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Russia and Religion

Putin & head of Russian Orthodox Church
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is laced with religious elements. In fact, you could argue that in many ways it is a religious war. That is the perspective of David French as he quotes from several sources.

One is former National Security Agency analyst John Schindler, who wrote about “Putin’s Orthodox Jihad.” He explains that the Russian Orthodox Church “depicts a West that is declining down to its death at the hands of decadence and sin, mired in confused unbelief, bored and failing to even reproduce itself.”

In another article, Giles Fraser explains, “Putin regards his spiritual destiny as the rebuilding of Christendom, based in Moscow.” But you may wonder how that vision fits into his invasion of Ukraine. According to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, “Ukraine is not on the periphery of our church. We call Kiev ‘the mother of all Russian cities.’ For us Kiev is what Jerusalem is for many.”

Vladimir Putin has fused Russian identity with the Russian Orthodox Church and sees his country and his church as a means by which to deal with the decadence of the West. By seizing his religion’s Jerusalem, that can be the first step to reuniting his church. Two years ago, many Ukrainian parishes separated from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which used to be under the Russian Orthodox Church.

David French concludes, “Putin isn’t trying to recreate the Soviet Union. The better analogy is to the deeply religious Russian Empire that existed before the Russian Civil War.” This is Putin’s bizarre vision that merges the Russian religion with the Russian state.viewpoints new web version

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