Building of Donetsk Christian University,
occupied now by pro-Russian terrorists
Long before Russia’s annexation of Crimea and unproclaimed war in the Donbass, Ukraine had become a religious battleground. Despite the warning of Yurii Chernomorets, Cyril Hovorun, and other observers, none of the leading Ukrainian and Western politicians foresaw the threat posed by an increasingly aggressive form of Orthodox Christianity being promoted by Moscow. As events in Ukraine have now shown, Orthodox fundamentalism is no less aggressive than Islamic fundamentalism, and the “Russian Spring” is no less bloody than its Arab counterpart.
The facts speak for themselves: Greek Catholics and Kiev-patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox churches have become de facto illegal entities in the annexed Crimea; in the Donbass region, an “Orthodox army” is active; dozens of Protestant churches have been seized; there have been cases of kidnapping, torture, and killing of pastors; Moscow-patriarchate priests openly bless terrorists and refuse to pray over deceased Ukrainian soldiers; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow predicts the downfall of Ukraine as a “kingdom divided against itself.”
Russia’s war against Ukraine has exacerbated a series of international, interethnic, and interconfessional conflicts. It is the religious aspect of the conflict that may prove to be the most significant, because Moscow Orthodoxy has been presented as the thing holding the “Russian world” together, and thereby as the main actor in the bloody Russian Spring.
Putin has justified the annexation of Crimea by saying that it has “sacred meaning for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for Jews and Muslims.” He calls it “the spiritual source of the formation of the multifaced but monolithic Russian nation. . . . It was on this spiritual soil that our ancestors first and forever recognized their nationhood.”
Continue reading “Mykhailo Cherenkov – ‘Orthodox Terrorism’”