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Spiritual Security, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Foreign Ministry Collaboration or Co-optation?

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Presentation on theme: "Spiritual Security, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Foreign Ministry Collaboration or Co-optation?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Spiritual Security, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Foreign Ministry Collaboration or Co-optation?

2 Sergei Lavrov – head of RFM “It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of the Primate of the Church to strengthening the positions of our Fatherland in the world and enhancing the international prestige of Russia” “It is impossible to overestimate the contribution of the Primate of the Church to strengthening the positions of our Fatherland in the world and enhancing the international prestige of Russia”

3 2007 Act of Canonical Union with ROCOR First and foremost, the signing of the 2007 Act of Canonical Communion of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia signaled “a new stage in the [RFM’s] efforts to consolidate the Russian world.” First and foremost, the signing of the 2007 Act of Canonical Communion of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia signaled “a new stage in the [RFM’s] efforts to consolidate the Russian world.”

4 Alexey II During the reign of Alexey II, especially during the Putin administration, the ROC expanded its role, uniting its mission with that of the RFM to secure the rights or “spiritual security” of the Russian diaspora as well as to reacquire property that had formerly belonged to the Russian Empire and had been lost during the Communist period. During the reign of Alexey II, especially during the Putin administration, the ROC expanded its role, uniting its mission with that of the RFM to secure the rights or “spiritual security” of the Russian diaspora as well as to reacquire property that had formerly belonged to the Russian Empire and had been lost during the Communist period.

5 Greater Russia Furthermore, the church by collaborating with the RFM has signaled that the church is indeed united with the state in promoting a greater Russia through the spread of Russian Orthodox Christianity. Furthermore, the church by collaborating with the RFM has signaled that the church is indeed united with the state in promoting a greater Russia through the spread of Russian Orthodox Christianity.

6 Spiritual Security 2000 National Security Concept stated: 2000 National Security Concept stated: –Assurance of the Russian Federation’s national security also includes protecting the cultural and spiritual-moral legacy and the historical traditions and standards of public life, and preserving the cultural heritage of all Russia’s peoples. There must be a state policy to maintain the population’s spiritual and moral welfare, prohibit the use of airtime to promote violence or base instincts, and counter the adverse impact of foreign religious organizations and missionaries.

7 1997 Law on Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations Brought to an end the brief period of religious freedom that Russia experienced following the 1990 law on Freedom of Worship Brought to an end the brief period of religious freedom that Russia experienced following the 1990 law on Freedom of Worship

8 Then Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad in 1996 stated: Then Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad in 1996 stated: –Once the 1990 law allowed for freedom of conscience, “hordes of missionaries dashed in, believing the former Soviet Union to be a vast missionary territory.” –Instead of aiding the ROC, these proselytizing groups worked against the church “like boxers in a ring with their pumped-up muscles, delivering blows.” –The blows were against the “people’s national and religious sentiments” leading to a state where for many Russians, “non- Orthodox means those who have come to destroy the spiritual unity of the people and the Orthodox faith – spiritual colonizers who by fair means or foul try to tear the people away from their church.”

9 Additionally, the idea arose that these foreign missionaries were actually covert foreign intelligence workers, gathering information about “Russian policies and strategic activities.” Additionally, the idea arose that these foreign missionaries were actually covert foreign intelligence workers, gathering information about “Russian policies and strategic activities.”

10 2000 National Security Concept In order to emphasize the spiritual danger facing Russia, Putin “drew a tight connection between religion, culture and nationality and stressed its central role in Russian culture and social order.” In order to emphasize the spiritual danger facing Russia, Putin “drew a tight connection between religion, culture and nationality and stressed its central role in Russian culture and social order.” Other religions were seen as being threats to the ROC and as such to the nation itself. Other religions were seen as being threats to the ROC and as such to the nation itself. Example of the Salvation Army. Example of the Salvation Army.

11 Alexey II and Lubyanka March 2002, Alexey II consecrated a church at the Lubyanka headquarters of the Federal Security Agency, which is the successor to the KGB. March 2002, Alexey II consecrated a church at the Lubyanka headquarters of the Federal Security Agency, which is the successor to the KGB. “The ceremony focused on the need for concerted actions aimed at combating the current threats posed to Russia’s ‘spiritual security’ as the Patriarch put it.” “The ceremony focused on the need for concerted actions aimed at combating the current threats posed to Russia’s ‘spiritual security’ as the Patriarch put it.”

12 Russian Civil Society This spiritual security, then, serves as the basis for protecting and uniting the Russian Orthodox people against threats to its spiritual and cultural well-being, especially by limiting the amount of freedom experienced in the civil society itself. This spiritual security, then, serves as the basis for protecting and uniting the Russian Orthodox people against threats to its spiritual and cultural well-being, especially by limiting the amount of freedom experienced in the civil society itself.

13 Spiritual Security and the Diaspora 2007 Act of Canonical Communion between the ROC and ROCOR 2007 Act of Canonical Communion between the ROC and ROCOR –Idea of a super-church uniting a superpower around the globe was used as one of the bases for reunification –2003 Putin met with Met. Laurus in NYC to discuss reunification with ROC –2007 Reunification occurred between the churches

14 Super-church for a Superpower? Yuri Zarakhovich for Time stated: Yuri Zarakhovich for Time stated: –Putin’s aim was for the take over of ROCOR by the Moscow Patriarchate in order to “launch a new globalized Church as his state’s main ideological arm and a vital foreign policy instrument.”

15 Putin commented on the reunion of ROCOR with the ROC as a part of the spiritual security of the Russian nation, “equat[ing] Russia’s ‘traditional confessions’ to its nuclear shield, both … being ‘components that strengthen Russian statehood’ and create necessary preconditions for internal and external security of the country.” Putin commented on the reunion of ROCOR with the ROC as a part of the spiritual security of the Russian nation, “equat[ing] Russia’s ‘traditional confessions’ to its nuclear shield, both … being ‘components that strengthen Russian statehood’ and create necessary preconditions for internal and external security of the country.”

16 Spiritual Security and the Diaspora Link Russians abroad to the Motherland through the ROC Link Russians abroad to the Motherland through the ROC ROC and RFM work together to defend the rights of Russians abroad ROC and RFM work together to defend the rights of Russians abroad RFM helps with the spiritual needs of Russians living abroad RFM helps with the spiritual needs of Russians living abroad RFM helps with building new churches and reacquiring lost property RFM helps with building new churches and reacquiring lost property

17 Struggle for Church Property in Western Europe 1931 Met. Evlogii of Paris came under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate 1931 Met. Evlogii of Paris came under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate All properties belonging to the Russian Church in Western Europe had been liquidated by Patriarch Tikhon in 1922 All properties belonging to the Russian Church in Western Europe had been liquidated by Patriarch Tikhon in 1922 These properties came under the authority of the Western Exarchate under Constantinople These properties came under the authority of the Western Exarchate under Constantinople

18 Issue of Church Property Pat. Kirill insists that the properties do not belong to the ROC but to the Russian state, since it was the state that built these edifices and then relinquished them. Pat. Kirill insists that the properties do not belong to the ROC but to the Russian state, since it was the state that built these edifices and then relinquished them. Several court cases have arisen in Western Europe over whether these churches belong to the Western Exarchate and to Constantinople or to Russia or the ROC. Several court cases have arisen in Western Europe over whether these churches belong to the Western Exarchate and to Constantinople or to Russia or the ROC.

19 Issue of Canonical Territory 2003 Alexey II issued communique to the hierarchs of Russian tradition calling for reunion with the Mother church. 2003 Alexey II issued communique to the hierarchs of Russian tradition calling for reunion with the Mother church. Similar communiques and attempts at reunion had been called in 1975 and 1976 under the Soviet Union Similar communiques and attempts at reunion had been called in 1975 and 1976 under the Soviet Union Was Alexey concerned about the expansion of the canonical territory of the ROC since it had been reduced following the downfall of the Soviet Union? Was Alexey concerned about the expansion of the canonical territory of the ROC since it had been reduced following the downfall of the Soviet Union?

20 Canonical Territory Canonical Territory refers to the jurisdictional authority that a church has in a particular area. Canonical Territory refers to the jurisdictional authority that a church has in a particular area. For instance the canonical territory of the Metropolis of Denver is the Rocky Mountain states and the Great Plains of For instance the canonical territory of the Metropolis of Denver is the Rocky Mountain states and the Great Plains of 2006 Diocese of Sourozh conflict with Bishop Basil of Sergievo (Amphipolis) 2006 Diocese of Sourozh conflict with Bishop Basil of Sergievo (Amphipolis)

21 Canonical Territory The ROC has changed the idea of canonical territory to be the territories where Russians live throughout the world The ROC has changed the idea of canonical territory to be the territories where Russians live throughout the world This idea both expands the concept and creates conflict for the other Orthodox communions who are now threatened by the expansion of the ROC This idea both expands the concept and creates conflict for the other Orthodox communions who are now threatened by the expansion of the ROC

22 Orthodox Canon Law The ROC expansion of the concept of canonical territory to a transnational concept violates Orthodox canon law The ROC expansion of the concept of canonical territory to a transnational concept violates Orthodox canon law There can only be one church in one locale There can only be one church in one locale Yes, the diaspora violates this concept already, but now the ROC is causing more difficulties in the diaspora Yes, the diaspora violates this concept already, but now the ROC is causing more difficulties in the diaspora It also promotes phyletism and goes against the universal and catholic nature of the church in each locale It also promotes phyletism and goes against the universal and catholic nature of the church in each locale

23 Where has the ROC expanded? Pyongyang, Havana, Beijing, Hong Kong, Angola, Mar del Plata, Quito, Caracas, Rome, Singapore with other expansions planned Pyongyang, Havana, Beijing, Hong Kong, Angola, Mar del Plata, Quito, Caracas, Rome, Singapore with other expansions planned Challenges the EP as the voice of world Orthodoxy Challenges the EP as the voice of world Orthodoxy Creates overlapping jurisdiction with the EP Creates overlapping jurisdiction with the EP


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