Orthodox “Taliban” Russia

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Православный "Талибан" России

“Like Ivan the terrible, we could use”, — says Alexander Kalinin, 33 years, dark eyes and a beard. Thieves have to cut off the hands of Mat in public places should be banned. Russia should take an example not from the West and with Iran, he said three weeks ago in an interview to the Russian news portal Meduza.io.

Unknown until now organization Kalinina called “Christian state”. According to him, he rallied on the Internet hundreds of faithful men and women who believe that today’s Russia is godless. His sympathizers boasted Kalinin, was behind the wave of bomb threat that had occurred in September in Russia. It’s been two weeks Kalinin, convicted of murder, sits in prison. He is accused of coercion: from the beginning of the year he and his colleagues sent hundreds of threats to theater owners — if, say, they will show the film by Alexei Uchitel “Matilda”, then set fire to them.

His associates for more than a year protesting against the showing of this novel, which must demonstrate that the end of this month in Russian cinemas. The film tells about the future Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his Scam primaballerina. The last Russian monarch, is revered in the Russian Orthodox Church as a Saint. According to Orthodox tverdohlebov, a film about his youthful love borders on blasphemy. Christian fundamentalism in Russia is not new. In the Soviet Union of the 80-ies was created such nationalist-religious movement as “Memory”, which linked faith in the “world Zionist conspiracy” aggressive Christianity and monarchism. 15 years ago, the moderate Christian voices, such as the priest and former Soviet dissident Gleb Yakunin warned against radicals. Then he spoke of the “Orthodox Taliban” (Taliban — an organization banned in Russia — approx. transl.).

Of course, Orthodox Christianity and “traditional values” was not in the early 2000-ies of the unofficial state ideology of Russia. This changed at the latest in 2012 due to the brutal punishment Actresses from Pussy Riot and the adoption of laws “On protection of feelings of believers” against the “homosexual propaganda”, which promoted the Church. Suddenly, fundamentalists feel that they are supported by the state and the Church. The truth is the government did not further the claims of fundamentalists: homosexuality and abortion remains permitted.

Russia is entering a new phase of “militant Christianity”, says the researcher of extremism Alexander Verkhovsky. The protests have become increasingly radical: unknown tried to set fire to the office of the Director of “Matilda” with “Molotov cocktail”, to the office of the lawyer of the Teacher was set on fire two cars — presumably by associates of Alexander Kalinin. In Ekaterinburg one apparently deranged man had committed the arson of the cinema, no one was hurt. The biggest Russian box office has already declared for fear of attack, which will not show “Matilda”.

This film is just a pretext, says Verkhovsky. In reality, we are talking about the relationship between Church and state. “This development is an unintended consequence of the indoctrination of Christianity, which deals with the Kremlin”, — says the researcher of extremism. What is happening now, was, they say, for the state as a complete surprise. Rechristianization Russia, conceived by the Kremlin as a tool of power, is out of control. “The state has no counter-strategy. The investigation quickly went to the surroundings of Church leadership,” — said Verkhovsky. The special role of the Orthodox Church raises questions, which does not want so quickly to do no Prosecutor. In any case, officials do not want to talk about terrorism.

Maybe it depends on what the Orthodox fundamentalists in the Church is influential sympathizers. These include, for example, Bishop Tikhon and Archbishop Dmitri Smirnov. Smirnov was sympathetic to the actions of Islamist suicide bombers, ultimately they were fighting for, “that they didn’t run the buggers”. Bishop Tikhon, who is considered to be the Confessor of Vladimir Putin, openly speculates that the killing of Communists of the Royal family could be a “ritual murder” — the old anti-Semitic legend that you believe to be true, many of the activists protesting against the “Matilda”. “Where is the line between the radicals and the eminent personalities of the Church is often not clear,” — said Verkhovsky. There is little help when the Church is officially opposed Christian criminals, calling them “pseudo-radicals”.

A researcher on religion Elena Volkova speaks even of “state terrorism”: “Without tolerance of the state there would be no violent Orthodox fundamentalism”. According to her, the fundamentalists within the Church would sit as before in their monasteries, not reaching the General public and not radicalizer Amateurs — it sounds different than the Archbishop of Smirnov, which has several programs on Christian television and has its own YouTube channel.

Now, however, for the Kremlin, it was obviously overkill: although the Russian government and is silent about the die-hards in the Church office, but not about the radical Amateurs. The conservative Minister of culture of Russia Vladimir Medinsky said in connection with threats to theater owners about the “lawlessness and censorship”. The deputies of the Duma who have watched “Matilda” closed the show, called the film “magnificent” — reasons for denying the showing, they say, does not exist. Even President Vladimir Putin praised the Director’s Teachers, calling it “Patriotic” and “talented”. A clear message of ardent activists: enough. If they do not take it seriously, then they can become a threat to Russia, Verkhovsky says. Then, they say, there is a fear that the anti-Christian activists a wave of repression. If the government really wants to act against them, then they will need a sympathetic political intuition: “the sacred, traditional values of Christian fundamentalists basically say nothing as our policy, only in the radical form.”

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