God is absent from a new spiritual guide the Russian Orthodox Church is drafting in tandem with Russia’s ruling party, a newspaper said on Thursday. Instead justice, patriotism and solidarity top the list of the guideline, dubbed “Eternal Values: The Foundation of Russian Identity,” which the Church is to publish with the dominant United Russia party, headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Russian feminists have expressed outrage after the country’s increasingly powerful Orthodox Church proposed an official dress code to ensure that women dress more modestly.
(Photo: Alexander Kalistratov leaves a court building in Gorno-Altaysk, December 16, 2010/Alexandr Tyryshkin)
When armed Russian security officers forced their way into Alexander Kalistratov’s home, he hardly imagined they were after his books. The local leader of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Siberia now faces up to two years in prison if found guilty this week of inciting religious hatred for distributing literature about his beliefs.
Some interesting comments on Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, back in April 2008 when he was still Metropolitan Kirill, in a cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow published by Wikileaks:
The Russian Orthodox Church refused to rehabilitate him and the state chose to ignore him, but the official silence surrounding the 100th anniversary of Leo Tolstoy’s death has not muffled praise or quelled debate.
The Russian Orthodox Church said on Tuesday there was no “breakthrough” at a Catholic-Orthodox theological dialogue meeting in Vienna last week that ended with reports of promising progress on the thorny issue of the role of the Catholic pope. The statement may be more interesting for what it doesn’t say than what it does. It’s not clear which reports Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the “foreign minister” of the Moscow Patriarchate, was referring to when he said that “contrary to allegations in the press, the Orthodox-Catholic Commission meeting in Vienna has made no ‘breakthrough’ whatsoever.”
Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians reported promising progress on Friday in talks on overcoming their Great Schism of 1054 and bringing the two largest denominations in Christianity back to full communion. Experts meeting in Vienna this week agreed the two could eventually become “sister churches” that recognize the Roman pope as their titular head but retain many church structures, liturgy and customs that developed over the past millennium.
(Photo: Soldier holds candle at ceremony for adoption of Christianity, in Stavropol, July 28, 2010/Eduard Korniyenko)
Russia marked its adoption of Christianity in 988 on Wednesday with a new public holiday, the latest show of Kremlin support for the Russian Orthodox Church that has grown increasingly powerful since the fall of Communism.
Two art curators have been found guilty in Moscow of inciting religious hatred in a case that has highlighted the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox church and its links to the Russian government.