START A PETITION37,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Critics of Russian Orthodox Church Say It's Sold Its Soul to Putin | Nation

Society & Culture  (tags: church, religion, russianorthodox, punkrock, russia, putin, corruption, communistcountry, church&state )

- 2101 days ago -
Many say Putin...used the church as a potent tool in his command structure, allowing it to amass vast riches in return for unquestioning support of his policies and spiritual blessing for his leadership.

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 1:57 am
For more than a millennium, the church helped cement Russia's identity and culture in times of foreign invasions and political upheaval and that legacy remains strong in the hearts of millions of Russians.

Under the atheist Soviet regime, the church suffered persecution, with tens of thousands of its faithful purged, jailed or executed. The 1991 fall of communism opened the way for a renaissance that many celebrated as bringing Russia back to its spiritual roots.

But resentment slowly grew over the perception that church leaders were becoming Kremlin stooges.

Critics said slathering gold-leaf on church domes was ostentation shameful for a country suffering through the hard times of the Boris Yeltsin years. The church has acknowledged that it ran businesses dealing in alcohol, tobacco and oil, and operated jewelry stores and organic farms, to raise money for restoration of churches and monasteries and education of priests.

Suspicions grew further under Putin.

The church's backing for the Kremlin became so fawning that it consecrated new nuclear missiles as "Russia's guardian angels" and urged young Russians to volunteer for military service in Chechnya. Shortly before the Pussy Riot escapade, Kirill met with Putin and praised his two presidential terms as "God's miracle." In return, Putin said that "the state still owes much to the church."

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 2:46 am
Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky said the church has turned into the Kremlin's "Salvation Ministry," obediently approving Kremlin policies and slamming Western democracy as concepts alien to Russian traditions all the while enjoying hefty government donations and tax immunity.

"The church inherited its full loyalty to the existing government from Soviet times," Belkovsky said.

In pre-revolutionary Russia, the church was a state institution whose government-paid clerics reported to czars as their "ultimate judges." In the Soviet era, Orthodox leaders infamously declared their loyalty to the atheist regime to allow the church to keep operating and were enlisted as KGB agents, according to lawmakers and prominent human-rights advocates.

"We knew back in the early 1990s that 90 percent of church leaders had been KGB agents," said Lev Ponomaryov, head of the respected For Human Rights group and a former lawmaker who in the early 1990s chaired a parliamentary commission that investigated Soviet-era ties between the church and KGB.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 11:30 am


Get the peasants focused on an imaginary "afterlife" and on the sexual "Sin" of their own bodies -- they'll be TOO DISTRACTED to see how the Ruling Class is screwing them, or to resist.....

Roger G (154)
Saturday May 19, 2012, 12:18 pm
noted thanks !

Fiona O (591)
Sunday May 20, 2012, 8:51 pm
All churches have gone part their time. Thank you, BMutiny.

LD B (40)
Monday May 21, 2012, 12:00 am
The Orthodox Church in Russia has traditionally been allied with the State.

Ellen m (215)
Monday May 21, 2012, 3:39 am
As many have stated before me, organized religion is the basis of almost every evil ever perpetrated upon man, by man..
Putin is unfortunately learning how to turn that to his advantage.

John B (185)
Monday May 21, 2012, 4:44 am
Article read and noted.Organized religion the the open wound on the body of humankind. Thanks for the article BMutiny.

divergent revolution (309)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:13 am
Ellen and John,totally agree
all wars are mostly wars are disguised as "holy wars" or crusades,jihad,ethnic cleansing
it's time to worship science if you need to worship in the first place
it's the only somewhat organized group that could save the planet

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Monday May 21, 2012, 9:52 am
It is wonderful that people are "coming out" fearlessly as atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinkers, whatever -- just like when LGBT people first started "coming out"! I see it on Care2 and elsewhere on the Internet and even off!
A lot of this, I think, is BECAUSE of the Internet, showing people they are not alone!
I remember well, {I am 76 years old!}, when you just kept your opinions to yourself and didn't discuss them publicly -- only in a select group of people that you trusted!!! How different it is now!

There WAS a lot of dissent and dis-belief, of course -- but you could lose your job, be called a communist, be held to have "no morals" {ONLY threats of Heaven and Hell keeps you moral! we all know that!}, be called a communist, be constantly on the defensive, be subject to intense proselytizing, be called a communist {no small threat in those days!}, etc.......It just wasn't worth it to bring the subject up!
This sort of fear kept everyone acting HYPOCRITICALLY, against what they really felt.....
The parallel with LGBT Rights and visibility is striking......

Past Member (0)
Monday May 21, 2012, 10:59 am
The church in America is also "traditionally been allied with the State".
Churches are tolerated by governments because of their policy, spelled out in Romans 13 (if I remember correctly) where the Christian church recognizes the idea that "God put governments in power and God's people should acknowedge and respect that". This was the argument made by Religious leaders in New Orleans when the government denied Constitutional rights to the citzens after Hurricane Katrina. The religous leaders sided with the police and against the people.
Be warned, this is the church's default position.

LD B (40)
Monday May 21, 2012, 2:54 pm
"The church in America is also "traditionally been allied with the State""

Not nearly to the extent as is the case in Russia, where there are not a plethora of different Churches as is here the case in the US. And, not only does the Russian Orthodox Church well predate the colonization of the Americas, but the geography of Russia is such that centralized government control of the whole is most problematic, so that for centuries said Church was the only omnipresent seat of authority for most of Russia.
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Society & Culture

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.