26 August 2009

Russian church considers Russians and Ukrainians "one people"

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus (i.e., Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) has declared Russians and Ukrainians to be "one people".

Speaking in Arkhangelsk, Kirill remarked,

From the point of view of basic values, we are one people. Certainly, from an ethnic point of view, from the point of view of language, one can speak [of differences]... but, when it comes to basic values, we are one body.

Kirill also spoke about "the historic commonality which was formed during the thousands of years of our common history", and added that "no thoughtful politician in Russia or Ukraine can ignore this fact." Despite all of the above, Kirill called for respect for the sovereignty of both Ukraine and Russia.

So is this the Russian Orthodox Church stepping into politics of its initiative, or is it rather fulfilling the demands of the Russian authorities?

In a recent Naša niva article, Jan Zaprudnik writes that he found highly dubious leaflets being distributed in Orthodox churches in Turaŭ (Turaw) and Žytkavičy (Zhytkavichy), one of which claims that Ukraine was "invented" by Bismarck, of all people.

It's truly sad to see how the church is allowing itself to be the handmaiden of Russian imperialism once again.

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