42% of young people do not consider themselves religious, finds the newest official survey. Islam is clearly on the rise.
Especially in the Ukraine war with all its religious sub-themes, the churches should talk to each other and deal with the religious roots of this war.
Sergei Ryakhovsky is accused of “publicly supporting and justifying the Russian war”. 21 leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church are also sanctioned.
Patriarch Kirill defends Putin in what he calls a “fratricidal war”. Meanwhile, tens of thousands continue to leave Russia to avoid military mobilisation.
While the UK imposes sanctions on Patriarch Kirill for supporting the war in Ukraine, the World Council of Churches rejects a ban and hopes to see “dialogue and encounter”.
The Russian Orthodox leader, Patriarch Kirill, defines Russki Mir as a “special civilization which needs to be preserved”. He has become the main promoter of this nationalist idea.
Putin’s messianic pretensions as saviour of Russian civilisation have deep religious and historical roots. Yet our western secular world tends to filter out religion and pre-Enlightenment history as irrelevant.
The trial against the Christian parliamentarian charged with “ethnic agitation” against homosexuals will start in January.
The president got 75% of the votes, his biggest electoral victory. The future of religious freedom for the evangelical minorities is very much dependent on the course of East-West relations.
Polls say the President will win again with at least 70% of the vote. Evangelicals hope the state’s efforts to stengthen national unity will not further restrict the freedoms of faith minorities.
In their own quiet way, Russia’s Protestant denominations are continuing to evangelise.
Called in Russian the “Youth Business Prayer Breakfast”, its primary supporters are Russian businessmen and politicians.
“Except for a few Orthodox extremists, I do not hear a single voice expressing approval for the prohibition of the Jehovah’s Witnesses”, says Russian church historian Constantine Prokhorov.
The criminalization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia is a mistake, says the Italian Evangelical Alliance. Freedom of worship should be guaranteed for everyone, “even for those who, in our view, are completely wrong.”
“The Russian Orthodox Church works tirelessly to bring unity and to educate the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism”, Putin said.