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A resurgence of Christianity in Russia? August 9, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Society.

I found two interesting articles today concerning the resurgence of Christianity in Russia.  President Dimitri Medvedev and his puppet master, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, recently inaugurated a state holiday marking Russia’s first embrace of Christianity in the year 988.  This is the first time a major new religious holiday has been recognized by the state in Russia in centuries.  In addition, both Putin and Medvedev both publically attend Orthodox Mass every week, going so far as to be photographed kissing icons and visibly wearing crucifixes.   There is a major, governmental effort to encourage Orthodox Christianity and to reinvigorate the Church.  $100 million was recently provided from state coffers in order to refurbish many churches and monasteries that had fallen into disrepair and were vandalized during communism’s terrors.

This is all pretty cool.  I am gratified to see Christianity resurgent anywhere, but it is badly needed in Russia, where alcoholism, drug abuse, HIV, abortion, and numerous other social ills remain epidemic.  There is the beginnings of a resurgence there, but it is somewhat top-down, not bottom-up in its nature.  I am certain that Putin is invigorating the Orthodox Church to his own ends, even as he tries to stamp out evangelical efforts – I do not doubt that this man would not mind being made Tsar and Autocrat of All Russias.  But, on some level, it does seem genuine – he could easily manipulate the Church without being so very frequently seen in church, and without involving the Church in many aspects of official life.  Such a thing would be unthinkable in the US, all the more so as our society slides into neo-paganism.

Interestingly, nonetheless.  Russia has massive problems,and a return to God would help nearly all of them.  It will be interesting to see how genuine this seeming resurgence is.  While many young Russians are returning to church, and vocations are blossoming, it remains to see how long this will last.  And when will Orthodoxy embrace a more fully Marian theology and the role of Authority, and return to the One, True, Fold?  I pray for that every day, but I am not holding my breath.  Not for now, anyway. 

Would you have any interest in a Catholic President living his Faith without any reservations or shame, or do you think that would violate Church and state?  Would crossing himself in a Marian shrine be too “scary.”

Not for me! 

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