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Russian Orthodox Church and Putin


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#1 Sacha

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 03:16 PM

Hi All,

Please see Christianity Today's article entitled "Russia's Newest Law, No Evangelizing Outside of Church".

Would be grateful for your thoughts on this, especially on the relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and Vladimir Putin.

Thanks,
Sacha



#2 Kusanagi

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 03:28 PM

From what I understand when i briefly read it on reddit last week, it was aimed more towards the foreign missionaries rather than the Orthodox Church.

 

https://www.reddit.c...ow_banned_from/



#3 Kosta

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:15 PM

Similiar law to what Greece has. Anything that curtails the spread of heresy and fractricide is a good thing.

#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 05:22 PM

The new laws are certainly not targeting the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Catholic News Agency has said that it expects the laws will have little impact on the Roman Catholic Church. All religious groups must register with the government and those that already have may well have less to worry about but active evangelical groups could have problems but it remains to be seen. Ostensibly, the aim is to keep an eye on religious groups who may be radical and pose a threat to security. I am no expert on terrorism laws but from what I can glean the more overtly anti-terrorism measures in these laws are not altogether unlike what we have in the UK (eg the UK has the 'failure to disclose measure' - ie it is an offence not to inform on someone, including a family member, who may have something to do with terrorism).

 

I would say, though, that this thread is not really within the terms of the forum, and certainly the relationship between the ROC and V V Putin does not seem to me to be a valid topic for discussion here.



#5 Sacha

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 08:46 PM

I understand that radical Islam poses a key threat, undoubtedly and should indeed be stopped. But protestants have never posed and never will pose a threat to anyone. I believe this thread is relevant in this:

Did not the Lord tell us to love our neighbor as ourselves? To Orthodox leaders: if you lived under an unfriendly or oppressive regime, would you want to be prohibited from practicing your faith privately in your homes?



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 11:29 PM

I think it would be a mistake to apply the Lord’s teaching as found in the Parable of the Good Samaritan to modern secular notions of rights some of which are directly counter to the teachings of the Church.



#7 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 12:19 AM

The golden rule is not found in the parable of the good Samaritan, but rather in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

If I may ask again: if you lived under an oppressive regime, would you want to be prohibited from practicing your faith privately in your home?



#8 Olga

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:15 AM

The golden rule is not found in the parable of the good Samaritan, but rather in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

If I may ask again: if you lived under an oppressive regime, would you want to be prohibited from practicing your faith privately in your home?

 

Sacha, your question is irrelevant to the scope of the legislation being discussed here. Missionary activity is a public act, not "practicing your faith privately in your  home".



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 07:33 AM

For whatever reasons (and a slap in the face of the West could be one of them), the Russian government's legislation is partly about supporting traditional Christian teaching on morality, and some western Christian religious groups which seek to proselytize in Russia have departed from such teaching. This, though, would not apply to some groups such as Seventh Day Adventists. But further, Russia may see a need to preserve not only traditional Christian morality but to minimize the confusion which may be created in the minds of the Orthodox population by 'divers and strange doctrines' (Hebrews 13:9) or by being 'tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive' (Ephesians 4:14). This is not in accord with western notions of rights but these notions have got us where we are in terms of the retreat from not only traditional Christian teaching on morals but from the Christian faith altogether. From an Orthodox point of view, rights have two aspects: freedom to exercise choice and freedom from sin. The Western notion of rights misses the second aspect, and that is what the Churches in the traditional Orthodox countries mean when they express opposition to western pressure for the state to legislate for only the first aspect. More generally, western pressure on the East to follow the West may be seen as the West's attempt to undermine Orthodoxy as absolute truth in favour of godless modernity and relativism.

 

One may, of course, pose the question: should people be free to follow any path they choose even if, from an Orthodox standpoint, it leads to their destruction? The modernist, relativist answer is 'yes'.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 26 July 2016 - 07:39 AM.


#10 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 10:24 AM

It occurs to me that Americans may have a special view of the matter at hand since the situation in Russia vis-à-vis the state and certain religious groups might be likened by them to the religious situation in early 17th century England (which was harsher than the current situation in Russia) which culminated in the Pilgrim Fathers settling in Massachusetts, this being a deep part of American consciousness. Another point is that pre-Revolution Russia had much more repressive measures aimed at heterodox religions, and suspicion of the West combined with nationalism now is not unlike that which existed in Imperial Russia.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 26 July 2016 - 10:24 AM.


#11 Lakis Papas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 10:33 AM

The master of this world will never support official Orthodox Church.

Unless when Church Patriarchs are his organs following his demands.

#12 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

'In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.' (2 Cor 4:4)

'I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' (Matt 16:18)



#13 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:33 PM

Olga,

The legislation also includes a prohibition against Protestants gathering in their homes.

If I may ask you, how would you answer the question I posed?



#14 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 02:53 PM

please ignore my prior question re John 6:37 thread. Thanks.


Edited by Sacha, 26 July 2016 - 03:01 PM.


#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 03:33 PM

The legislation also includes a prohibition against Protestants gathering in their homes.

 

Sasha, I do not think that we can construe Russian legislation here; we have only media reports to go on, and that is no basis for construction of any legislation anywhere. One would need a reliable translation of the actual provisions.



#16 Lakis Papas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 04:47 PM

'

'I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' (Matt 16:18)

 

Exactly!!!



#17 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:09 PM

Rdr Andreas,

I don't see any good reason to doubt what the media is reporting re the Yarovaya law and more precisely amendments which were passed on July 20, including laws against practicing one's faith in homes.

But at any rate, imagine that it was the law of the land: would you want the government to prevent you from sharing your faith with others in your home, at risk of financial penalties and/or worse?



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 05:41 PM

Sasha, if you 'Google' the matter, you get page after page of comment from almost entirely American protestant denominations. Consider the headlines we see: 'Putin's War on Prayer'; 'Christians in Russia under attack from Putin's law', and so forth. The vast majority of 'Christians in Russia' are Orthodox. And not to doubt media reports is a very unsafe position! As to the risks involved in a person sharing their faith, read this:  http://www.christian...uslim-colleague  Are thousands of Christians in America fasting and praying for Victoria Wasteney, or for the bakers who declined to make a cake for a homosexual wedding and stand to lose their business and livelihood? A person can be arrested in England for quoting from the Bible in public. There is enough to concern us at home without looking at Russia (which the western media loves to do). As to the question put, if the law in England became so draconian as to inhibit me in the practice and sharing of my Orthodox faith, I would have to take the consequences which would be less harsh than Orthodox Christians suffered in Russia a couple of generations ago. We may have to be ready for that.



#19 Sacha

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 06:06 PM

Thanks for the link. Yes, multitudes in the US are praying and fasting for their brethren around the world.

I take your answer to my question as a "No", an admission that you would not want the government to prohibit the private practice of your faith in your home.

With that established, and by the Golden Rule, does it not follow that Orthodox church leaders should speak up against this latest amendment?



#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 July 2016 - 06:35 PM

No, I would not want the British government to limit the practice of the Orthodox faith here. But that is because we know that Orthodoxy is the Truth in that it is Jesus Christ and His Church, the only Church, the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church' of the Creed. Is it wrong for the government in an Orthodox country (not an expression I really like but let it serve) to seek to limit the activities of imported heretics (and the interference of foreign influences hostile to Orthodoxy)? Ought Orthodox hierarchs who are charged by Christ to preach the truth to defend the enemies of truth? Just asking.


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 26 July 2016 - 06:49 PM.





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