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Russian Orthodox Church Adds Influential Voice to Calls for Election Reform
nytimes.com ^ | December 11, 2011 | SOPHIA KISHKOVSKY

Posted on 12/12/2011 12:32:25 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe

The Russian Orthodox Church added its influential voice over the weekend to calls for a just election process in Russia. The step followed demonstrations across the country that called for a recount or a fresh vote, and outpourings from individual members of the church’s clergy, who reflected popular anger at the flawed Dec. 4 election.

“It is evident that the secretive nature of certain elements of the electoral system concerns people, and there must be more public control over this system,” said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the most prominent spokesman for the church, in remarks to a widely followed Orthodox news Web site. “We must decide together how to do this through civilized public dialogue.” ....

Father Chaplin’s remarks to the Web site appeared intended to get the church back out in front of individual clergy members’ condemnations of election rigging, a first for the post-Soviet Russian Orthodox Church. The comments might suggest the government is accommodating the critique of the political system, perhaps because it has become too widespread to stifle. ....

The Web site that Father Chaplin spoke to, Pravoslavie i mir (Orthodox Christianity and the World), has become a platform for debate about politics and morals. Its editor, Anna Danilova, said the reaction inside the church arose from disgust at official dishonesty surrounding the election. “A Christian has to protest against lies, especially lies to millions of people,” she said.

Harsh condemnation of the elections among Russian Orthodox priests, theologians and active lay people was evident on Facebook pages and blogs as reports of fraud poured in last week....

Last Tuesday, when claims of vote rigging were mounting and protests were gathering strength, one priest wrote on his Facebook page: “Falsification of the choice of the people is a grievous sin. There can be no justification for it.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Russia
KEYWORDS: orthodox

1 posted on 12/12/2011 12:32:30 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
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