President Vladimir Putin praised the Russian Orthodox Church on Saturday for aiding Moscow’s military engaged in combat in Ukraine. Russian President Putin praised and applauded the role of the Orthodox Church in an Orthodox Christmas speech intended to energise the populace behind his vision of a new Russia.
The Kremlin released Putin’s statement after he chose to attend a private Orthodox Christmas Eve service in a Kremlin cathedral rather than partake in a more significant public celebration. Putin made it clear in his message that he saw the Russian Orthodox Church as a significant social stabilising force.
He added that the force was active during a period he painted as a historical conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine and other issues. His message was accompanied on the Kremlin website by a photo of him standing before religious icons.
The enormously positive contributions made by the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations are really worth appreciating.
They also have worked hard to preserve our historical memory, educate children, and bolster the institution of the family is particularly heartening, according to Putin.
Church organisations give assistance to our soldiers who are participating in the special military operation a priority (in Ukraine). Such enormous, intricate, and really unselfish labour deserves praise.
Putin issued a 36-hour truce order for the festivities on Friday, but Kyiv dismissed it as a Moscow tactic to gain time and regroup, and following the declaration, Russian and Ukrainian soldiers engaged in artillery fire.
In the case of Vladimir Putin, the subtle pull of the two nations’ common Orthodox Christian religious identity was transformed into a savage attack meant to strengthen Moscow’s position and further Putin’s geopolitical objectives.
An analogous dynamic is at play in other emerging powers, such as China, India, and Brazil, whose current leaders have all found political utility in religion.
While Putin has led the way through a long-standing strategic alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church, this dynamic is also at play in these countries.
The Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine has infuriated many Ukrainian Orthodox believers. Moreover, it also has fractured the Orthodox Church globally, albeit many Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on January 7.
Out of the 260 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, roughly 100 million live in Russia, and some of those who live outside the country have united with Moscow.
Others, however, are vehemently opposed and disagree with Moscow’s claim that its invasion of Ukraine on February 24 of last year was a necessary pre-emptive attack. He did so to protect both its own security and the safety of Russian speakers there.
With two additional Orthodox Churches, one of which is the autocephalous, or autonomous, Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And the other one is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate; there are over 30 million Orthodox believers in Ukraine.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow criticised Ukraine for cracking down on the Orthodox church branch with long-standing links to Moscow at a liturgy on Friday.
Summary Of The News
- Putin sent a Merry Christmas greeting to Orthodox Christians.
- He praised the Russian Orthodox Church as a crucial source of unity
- And praised its military operation’ backing in Ukraine