Russians remember well what it was like to live under a system that hated the Church.
When Lenin and his Bolshevik elk tried to remove the Church from ALL aspects of Russian life, these saboteurs and traitors promised that without the Church corrupting the state, politics could become truly focused on helping humanity, and Russia would thrive.
The result, however, was actually the endless destruction of Russian lives.
“The Market Place of Our Democracy” by Glazunov depicts the inevitable result of not only Communism, but the pernicious result of the “westernizing” trend we experienced in our country in the 1990’s. Russia, her people, and culture were effectively prostituted like Biblical Israel in heathen Babylonian or Egyptian captivity.
It is when the Russian Church and State operate in symphony, that the reflowering of Orthodoxy in Russia becomes possible.
The Russian State and Church are like two heads on an eagle with the same body, they operate differently, but they are both crucial to the survival of the whole.
This relationship is very practical as well.
Patriarch Kirill spoke perfectly when he addressed sailors of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk in 2016. His Holiness said the Church attaches “[a] very great importance to cooperation with the Armed Forces”.
Critics immediately stop here, and use this as an example of the Church being overly politicised, or supportive of violence, but if they would only read on, they would see the Patriarch believes this relationship helps ensure peace!
The Patriarch said that the condition of servicemen’s souls is “an essential part of maintaining peace.”
Have cynics ever stopped to consider that maybe if the Church were more involved with the state, and if Priests were amongst the soldiers in their darkest hours, they could bring light into the nights of war?
Russian servicemen certainly do, when asked if they wanted more Priests in their ranks, the result was an overwhelming Da!
The Church maintains the spiritual well-being of Russian servicemen because this is not only good for them and Russia, but as Russia is a nuclear power, the presence of the Church and her mission for peace amongst the Russian military is a guarantee of world peace.
Many people forget that even the war in Syria has been influenced by this relationship.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Ignatius IV of Antioch (+2012), the leader of Syrian Christians. Antioch, the ancient capital of Syria is where, according to the Bible, the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christian. (Acts 11:26). Syrian President Assad, (pictured in signs), is a protector of Christians in Syria, believing them an inseparable part of the countries history.
Patriarch Kirill urged President Putin to protect Christians in Syria, and Putin answered the call.
Just like Saint Vladimir Svyatoslavich of Kiev sent his elite Varangian “Viking” Guard to the Roman Empire to fight jihadists, Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] is combating terrorism to save Christians in Syria.
If you disagree, I dare you to go to an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and ask Syrian immigrants to tell you their stories, and to ask them which country is really helping them.
What you hear may surprise you.
So next time you think to break a thousand year union, ask yourself this, when was the last time you’ve seen a western leader bow and kiss the relics of Saint Nicholas himself?
A video introducing Russian Faith