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Russia

Russian Patriarch Blesses New Church Outside FSB Academy

A screen grab of Russia's Orthodox Patriarch Kirill blessing the cornerstone of a new church outside the academy of the Federal Security Service on August 1.
A screen grab of Russia's Orthodox Patriarch Kirill blessing the cornerstone of a new church outside the academy of the Federal Security Service on August 1.
By Robert Coalson
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has blessed the cornerstone of a new Orthodox church outside the walls of the academy of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in western Moscow.

According to a press statement by the Patriarchate, the new church is being constructed "at the initiative of the leadership and students" of the academy.

The patriarch's appearance highlights the increasingly close ties between the church and state, a relationship that has recently come under closer scrutiny and criticism from the opposition.

At a ceremony on July 31, the patriarch noted that because of the communist-era destruction of churches -- often carried out by the FSB's predecessor agencies -- many districts of the capital have few or no places of worship.

"We know what enormous losses were brought to the church life of Moscow by the years of revolution and the subsequent years of persecution," Kirill said. "Hundreds and hundreds of churches were destroyed. And today, in the memory of those destroyed holy places of the capital, we are erecting new churches in new areas."

WATCH: Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill blesses a new Orthodox church outside the FSB academy in Moscow:


Although the new church is next to the academy, the patriarch said it would be open to the public. It is part of a new project by the Russian Orthodox Church to build 200 new churches in the capital.

Kirill thanked Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov for their support in constructing the new church. Both men were represented by deputies at the ceremony.

'Attacks On Christian Way Of Life'

FSB Academy Director Viktor Ostroukhov also spoke at the ceremony. He said that staff at the academy are "not indifferent to the future of the country."

He added that they are also concerned about what he called "the increasing number of attacks on the Christian way of life."

"These attacks are becoming sharper and are aimed first of all at the young," Ostroukhov said. "Together we can oppose these dangerous threats to modernity and preserve a great and indivisible Russia."

Russia under President Vladimir Putin (right) has grown closer to Patriarch Kirill and the church.Russia under President Vladimir Putin (right) has grown closer to Patriarch Kirill and the church.
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Russia under President Vladimir Putin (right) has grown closer to Patriarch Kirill and the church.
Russia under President Vladimir Putin (right) has grown closer to Patriarch Kirill and the church.
The patriarch's appearance comes just as the three members of the feminist performance-art collective Pussy Riot is going on trial in Moscow on charges of hooliganism for trespassing in a closed area of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The indictment against them accuses them of trying to "openly express disrespect to the Christian world and the church canons."

Defendant Nadezhda Tolokonnikova issued a statement at her trial on July 30 saying that the group acted because of "the patriarch's call, which made us upset, for people to vote for the politician Vladimir Putin."

If convicted, they face up to seven years in prison.

Robert Coalson

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sey from: World
August 01, 2012 16:01
So, Patriarch Kirill is wearing the Chechen flag or is that a religious garment?
In Response

by: flypaper from: NY
August 01, 2012 20:09
I thought the same thing when I saw the photo!!!!

by: flypaper from: NY
August 01, 2012 16:46
No surprises, not considering the strong ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Communist almost from day one. Local priests turned into Soviet agents was common..
Krill and Putin are just taking Church/State cooperation out of the shadows. They are dealing from the same deck and patting each other on the back for each saving Russia. One by preaching intolerance from the altar, and the other with the end of a club.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
August 01, 2012 21:07
what flypaper is saying is not true, especially to soviet era. In soviet union there was not church, because it was replaced by Communism. Catacomb church was born out that, virtually all church's and religious figures were rooted out and planted in shallow mass grave, most right in the back yard of the church grounds. During WWII, the state became close to this Catacomb Church (in hiding) to relief the tension of national grief and suffering, not to mention all the other bad stuff that happened. During this 10 year period of warming that was planned by Stalin, to learn about who survived so they can get rid of them with ease after the WWII, which they carried out in small dose for next decades.

Please Learn about the subject that are taught in US universities and not some fiction, go watch Inglorious Bastards and take it as fact.
In Response

by: Flypaper from: NY
August 02, 2012 13:15
Many in the Orthodox hierarchy are accused of working as former KGB agents or as informers. The previous Patriarch, Alexei II, was a former agent codenamed Drozdov, according to Soviet archives opened to experts in the 1990s.

And now Krill continues this hand in hand with the FSB.

In Response

by: Frank
August 02, 2012 05:58
Anti-Russian Orthodox Christian propaganda aside: actually, that claim holds true among elements in other religious denominations under Communist rule.

It was a fine line between willing dupe and making the best of a difficult situation within limits.

Never mind the Vatican's not so pristine past with Nazi elements.

So much for hypocrisy.

In Response

by: Flypaper from: NY
August 02, 2012 13:35
Nice try at shifting the discussion. The article is about Russian OC church not the Vatican.
In Response

by: Frank
August 02, 2012 19:04
Can't take the highlighting of hypocrisy from a venue like RFE/RL and apparently yourself.
In Response

by: FRANK from: MASS.
August 20, 2012 00:28
FLYPAPER IS OBVIOUSLY NOT AN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN OR ANY OTHER KIND EITHER.

by: John Harduny from: Reston, VA, USA
August 01, 2012 19:17
A church and the FSB Academy. What an absurd mix.
In Response

by: Frank
August 02, 2012 06:00
US foreign policy neocon-neolib leaning elements in alliance with Muslim fundamentalists, who're hostile towards Jews and Christians - "What an absurd mix."

by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
August 01, 2012 20:48
Could this be a slanted, biased analysis? While some are uncomfortable with an intimate church-state relationship, maybe this is what Russia needs in 2012. The country’s moral compass was badly damaged during the 20th century, and many Russians developed a warped sense of right and wrong. Perhaps instilling a sense of justice and truthfulness into those who guard the state will help Russia regain its ethical bearing. God works in strange ways.
In Response

by: Anonymous
August 03, 2012 04:52
Instead of returning to ancient religion, maybe Russia should return to Communism. But do it right this time, without turning into a police state or an empire.

by: Anonymous
August 01, 2012 23:20
Zyuganov, the Russian communist leader, said that Stalin promoted Christianity among Russians, by butchering Muslims and Jews.

by: James from: New York
August 02, 2012 10:23
You really need to change the caption under the last photo. It should say that the Russian STATE under President Vladimir Putin has grown closer to Kirill and the church. The Russian PEOPLE, on the other hand, are increasingly uninterested in a preening old raving bigot who hasn't the first clue what the Gospel actually looks like.
In Response

by: Frank
August 02, 2012 19:05
Like some piousdblowhard in NY knows better (not).
In Response

by: James from: New York
August 02, 2012 22:08
Pious? Perish the thought. I do have enough education to know what the words "ad hominem" mean, but it doesn't exactly take a degree in theology to compare and contrast:

‎"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." - Christ

"Pray for my brother, Mehmet Ali Ağca, whom I have sincerely forgiven, even though he shot me four times." - John Paul II

"Throw the book at them bitches in Pussy Riot." - Kirill

One of these men is not like the others...

And am I mistaken that of the proportion of Russians who actually show up to church is but a sliver on a pie chart?
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
August 03, 2012 05:39
A bit rich Frank, considering you are a srebrenica massacre denier.

The close relations between the Russian Church and it's Tsarist, Communist, and now neo-fascist masters is well documented.

One very good reason, that despite being the largest, the other Orthodox Churches all make very sure that the head of the Church remains the Patriarch of Constantinople rather than, as the Russians would like, the Metropolitan of Moscow.

Also the other (Real) Orthodox Churches are collegiate in form, while the Russian Church follows the Vatican power vertical, there is a move in the Orthodox Church to evict the Russian Church for its many heresies.
In Response

by: Frank
August 03, 2012 06:37
Talk about changing the subject to Srebrenica - a sibject that Andrew appears to be ignorant of.

Some other ignorant comments include the "Chechen flag" that someone said that Kirill adorns.

Show me an officially sanctioned religious body under Communism which didn't conform to a degree in one way or another.

Russia had a positively rich pre-1917 tradition which Communists and Russia hating bigots alike downplay.

In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
August 03, 2012 15:55
Frank, you are probably the most ignorant person who posts here.
Not to mention a racist who supports Slavic crimes against non-slavs.

Kind of appropriate when over half of all the worlds Neo-Nazi gangs are ethnic Russians, and a significant proportion of the remainder their fellow Pan-Slavs in Serbia.

Your ignorance of the crimes of the Russian state, be it Tsarist, Communist, or the current Neo-Fascist is truly appalling.

What is your take on the Russian governments hypocrisy over Syria? Lavrov Putin et all claiming that no other country has the right to interfere in Syria's sovereign internal affairs, while four years earlier......

In Response

by: Francisco di Mensa from: Catalunya
August 20, 2012 06:32
>>>>>>>>>>>"Pray for my brother, Mehmet Ali Ağca, whom I have sincerely forgiven, even though he shot me four times." - John Paul II

Sorry, man, but Mehmet Ali Agca thing just came across as pure theater. To me, JPII was an operator. A warmonger (a Pole with a gripe, who stoked the flames of nationalism in the Balkans and elsewhere) who was almost unprincipled in his opportunism. A little-published incident that's illustrative: do you remember what he did when he thought he'd found the Kazan Icon, which ahd gotten lost in the tumult of the Revolution? Instead of returning it to the Russian Orthodox Church, its rightful owners (I think it turned out to be a fake anyway), he would taunt the Russians by saying how he had it in his room and prayed before it daily, and would only return it to Russia if he were allowed to accompany it there personally. A classier, more Christian sort would have returned it forthwith, without fuss, and not try to twist the owner's arm for diplomatic gain.

Finally, don't look past those angry RCs who claim JPII was at the center of the pedophile cover-up (Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado etc. etc.). As I'm sure you know, there are some REALLY angry RCs out there over JPII's role in this.Not to speak ill of the dead, but please refrain from the comparisons with the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Russia, you're dealing with a country that had experienced the most vicious religious persecution in modern history, and an attack on a cathedral that had been razed to the ground by the Communists is not going to be taken lightly. Did you see how Femen reacted to the Pussy Riot verdict? They went a filmed themselves in Kiev chainsawing to the ground a cross memorializing those who suffered under Communism. There is a real vicious streak to these dubious "free-speech advocates" everyone in the Western press is vouching for. Patr. Kirill? Not perfect. But his grandfather, also a priest, had been a Confessor under the Communists, spending 20years in Solovki prison. I'm sure he knows "what the Gospel actually looks like."

by: Kenelm from: Oxford
August 04, 2012 00:18
So this is how the Russian Orthodox Church now honours the millions of believers who were martyred under the Bolshevik Yoke. .

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