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PRESS RELEASE WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 28, 2022 — The Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) denounces the horrific and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military under the orders of President Putin and the attempt to bestow religious legitimacy to the war by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. The indiscriminate and unjustifiable bombing of innocent civilian population centers including schools and hospitals, the rapes, mass executions and war crimes committed by Russian soldiers have shocked the entire world. Millions have been forced to flee their homes as refugees from a brutal war in which Orthodox Christians have been ordered by…

Source: Church Times by JONATHAN LUXMOORE Ukrainian Orthodox head puts pressure on Russian Church THE Primate of Ukraine’s independent Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphany (Dumenko), has called for the removal of the Russian Orthodox presence in his country. His hardened stance was prompted by the refusal of President Putin to agree a truce for the celebration of Easter, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow charge to the Russian people to make their country “invincible”. “The Ukrainian state is fighting to protect its territorial integrity and defending its information space,” Metropolitan Epiphany said. “This is why we must also talk about protecting Ukraine’s Orthodox faithful from Russian influence. . . As long…

Source: Daily Beast by A. Craig Copetas Beneath the gold onion domes of the Danilov Monastery a few miles south of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin’s chief shaman explains why Russia is hell-bent on destroying Ukraine. “If we see [Ukraine] as a threat, we have the right to use force to ensure the threat is eradicated,” Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill recently preached to his church’s 90 million faithful followers. “We have entered into a conflict which has not only physical but also metaphysical significance. We are talking about human salvation, something much more important than politics.” The wartime coalition between Putin and his patriarch is called symphonia,…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Assaad Elias Kattan | Русский A Greek version of this text is available at Polymeros kai Polytropos, the blog of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies At the time of writing, the tsar’s fighter jets are pounding the gorgeous Kyiv, and air raid sirens are echoing everywhere. “Who has believed our message” declares the prophet Isaiah: the fighters of Vladimir Putin are striking Kyiv, not Tbilisi, Yerevan, Berlin, Paris, or Istanbul, and certainly not New York. In fact, the Russian tsar wants to exact revenge on the Ukrainians…and on his own history. He is destroying the cradle of his own…

Source: Public Othodoxy PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON RUSSIA’S WAR ON UKRAINE by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis | ελληνικά | Română Few, if any, would go so far as to claim that Patriarch Kirill, as head of the Orthodox Church in Russia (or “the Russias,” as he likes to say), could be charged with crimes against humanity or war crimes for not preventing unwarranted and unjustifiable military aggression that has cost innocent lives in just the last few days. At the same time, many, if not most, would concur that President Putin should be charged with such atrocities. Even with his egregious violations of conventional law, however,…

Source: The Wall Street Journal By George Weigel While Vladimir Putin is determined to reconstitute the old Soviet Union as a sphere of unchallenged Russian influence, Russian imperialism has a history that long antedates Mr. Putin. Czarist Russia was an expansive imperial power, extending its hegemony over the Eurasian landmass to the Pacific Ocean. Lenin, Stalin and their epigones, despite their ideological rejection of czarism, acted as de facto Great Russian imperialists in assembling the Soviet Union and maintaining it by brute force. In lamenting the demise of that prison house of nations as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, Mr.…

Source: The Jamestown Foundation By: Tetyana Zhurman On July 28, Ukrainian Orthodox Christians celebrated the 1,033rd anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus—a remarkable annual event for Ukrainian history and another reason for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political speculations. After the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, signed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church tomos in 2019, granting it autocephaly—independence from the Russian Orthodox Church (see EDM, July 26, 2018; RFE, January 23, 2020)—experts warned that Moscow would double its efforts to weaponize religious issues as an element of its “hybrid war” against Ukraine  (Warsawinstitute.org, January 31, 2019). In his recent article “On the Historical Unity of Russians and…

Source: The New York Times When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church broke from Russia’s, it dealt a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to portray his country as one people with a single identity. By Michael Khodarkovsky Mr. Khodarkovsky is the author of the forthcoming book “Russia’s 20th Century: A Journey in 100 Histories.” On Jan. 5, some 150,000 people lined up in front of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev. They came to see a single document called a tomos, issued a few days before by the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew. There, on a piece of parchment,…

Source: Hurriyet Daily News By BARÇIN YİNANÇ It is 2008. Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew is preparing to go to Kiev. “The Russian intelligence knew that the visit’s aim was to give autocephaly status to the Ukrainian church,” a source familiar with the process had said. Autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical Christian church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. Accordingly, this status to the Ukrainian church meant striking a serious blow to the Russian Church, therefore to Russia. Vladimir Putin calls Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to prevent this visit from taking place. Greece’s ambassador in…

Source: Bloomberg As Ukraine’s church moves toward independence, the Russian president could lose his role of defender of the faith. By Leonid Bershidsky The Eastern Orthodox Church is closer than ever to a schism that would cast Russian President Vladimir Putin in a role similar to that of King Henry VIII when he split the Church of England from Rome in the 16th century. Russia’s ambition to be the center of the Orthodox world threatens to end in isolation. But holding back from splitting the church will mean humiliation by the Ukrainians, who have been ruthlessly terrorized by the Russian leader. On…

Source: Atlantic Council By Taras Kuzio On September 7, Ukraine inched closer to a globally recognized international church. That day, Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew I placed Ukraine under the canonical jurisdiction of US Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and Canadian Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton who head Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in both countries under Constantinople’s canonical jurisdiction. Since 1685, the Russian Orthodox Church has claimed Ukraine lies within its canonical territory, but no longer. The two appointments are preparation for granting the Orthodox Church in Ukraine autocephaly (independence) from the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s no exaggeration to write that the granting of autocephaly from the Russian…

Source: Observer.com By John R. Schindler Originally published on November 29, 2017 One of the more interesting aspects of Cold War 2.0 is the ideological struggle between the postmodern West and Russia—a struggle that most Westerners deny even exists. President Barack Obama, after Moscow seized Crimea in early 2014, pronounced that there was nothing big afoot: “After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.” Obama’s statement was wrong then, and it’s even more wrong now. As I’ve explained, there is an undeniable ideological struggle between Vladimir Putin’s neo-traditionalist Russia and the post-modern West—one that prominent Russians talk about all…

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