Skip to comments.Spread of neo-paganism brings racism and violence [Russia]
Posted on 05/22/2004 12:58:59 PM PDT by Salvation
21 May, 2004 RUSSIA: Spread of neo-paganism brings racism and violence
Livna (AsiaNews/ agencies)- Neo-paganism has gathered such a following in the former Soviet Union that organizations, seminars and books are sprouting up throughout the country, claiming adherents. According to Viktor Shnirelman, compiler of the book Neo-paganism on the Expanses of Euroasia, St. Petersburg has become the main center of Russian neo-paganism, though cults and organized churches have spread throughout every part of the country.
On May 13th there was the arrests of three suspects in two incidents of arson against the church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God in the city of Orel, Western Russia. In February of this year in Orel, vandals at the Russian Orthodox church broke windows, destroyed bookstalls, and attempted to set the iconostasis, which was under restoration, on fire. They left a slogan on the walls saying, The Jewish God will depart, praise to the gods and a symbol resembling a nazi swastika. Later that month, in the same church, 250 boxes of devotional candles worth 30,000 rubles were set on fire in the buildings basement.
Not far away in the same province, a worker in the Sergius Church, in the city of Livna, discovered a note in the donation box containing a threat to set the church roof on fire. The incidents at the Orel church were mentioned in the note. An investigation led by the Directorate of Internal Affairs, which specializes in monitoring radical youth and occult activity, led to the arrest of 3 young people. A 23-year old unemployed graduate of the Orel Institute of Culture and Art admitted to the crimes, stating he had recently converted to paganism, and had been drunk during the incident. Another two suspects, both 19-year-old students of the same Institute, were also arrested.
Traditional pagan beliefs have never been forgotten. Now they are being expressed more openly, Shnirelman writes.
In Siberias Omsk province this month, a provincial court ordered the liquidation of three public pagan organizations. The Ancient Russian Church of Orthodox Old Believers of Inglia, the Asgard Slavic Community, and the Slavic Community of the Temple of the Wisdom of Perun were found to be in violation of federal legislation because of propaganda and display of the symbolism that is similar enough to Nazi symbolism as to cause confusion, propaganda of the supremacy of the white race and disparagement of national dignity.
Russia was a pagan country until introduced to Christianity in 988AD. Now, Russian Orthodoxy is the countrys largest religion, though many of its members claim only nominal belief (J.C.)
"In August 2003, an art exhibit entitled Caution: Religion opened at Moscows Sakharov Museum.
Among the featured artworks was a Russian Orthodox-style icon with a hole instead of a head, where visitors could put their faces and picture themselves as the Almighty.
There was also a Coca-Cola logo against the usual red background, but with Jesus' face drawn next to it and the words, This is my blood. A sculpture was featured of a church made from vodka bottles.
Four days after its opening, the exhibit was vandalized by six men. The group was detained and charged with hooliganism, but after a publicity campaign conducted by a Russian Orthodox priest, the charges were dropped. According to Kishkovsky, the vandals themselves were members of the Orthodox Church."
A large listing of links with the same story as the one in Newsweek. So it looks like Newsweek is reliable.
"To Western eyes bombarded by provocative images, the items in the Russian exhibit might appear tame. But they were perceived as highly offensive by some believers. A poster by Aleksandr Kosolapov, a Russian emigre artist naturalized in the U.S., shows Jesus on a Pepsi advertisement announcing, "This is my blood." Sculptor Alina Gurevich used vodka bottles to create a church, a reference to the tax-exempt status the Russian Orthodox Church enjoyed in the 1990s. The court announced the formation of a commission of experts to determine whether the works incited hatred, a commission characterized as unfair by museum director Yurii Samodurov because it was not made up of art experts. If found guilty, under Article 282 of the criminal code ("incitement of ethnic, racial, or religious enmity"), the organizers could face heavy fines and up to three years of probation or even three to five years in prison if aggravating circumstances of a crime committed by an "organized group" are found."
"The lower house of Parliament passed a resolution condemning the museum and the exhibition's organizers. The criminal charges against four of the six men were dropped early on for lack of evidence - even though they had been detained inside the building. Then on Aug. 11, with several hundred Orthodox believers holding a vigil outside, a court here threw out the charges against the others, Mikhail Lyukshin and Anatoly Zyakin, saying they had been unlawfully prosecuted.
The court made it clear that an investigation should continue - not against those who attacked the exhibit, but against the museum itself.
The men who attacked the exhibit are members of his church in Moscow, St. Nikolai in Pyzhi. Some of them work there, and Father Aleksandr organized the campaign for their defense and against the museum. He compared the exhibition to a rape or a terrorist act.
Aleksandr B. Chuyev, a member of Parliament and, like Mr. Sakharov, a dissident during the Soviet period, disagreed. Closely allied with the Orthodox Church, he sponsored the resolution calling on prosecutors to investigate the museum. He defended the men who destroyed the exhibition, saying they had acted within their rights to prevent a crime. Democracy, he said, necessitates respect for the beliefs of others."
"She has covered a television screen with red paper, the center of which was cut out in the outline of Christ's face. Hence live news broadcasts flow out through this sacred image: "This a warning," said Koldobskaya. "Nothing we do can escape God's eyes."
You really have to see this page and read some of these stories. Christianity is alive and well in Russia. My heart overflows with joy and gratitude to God.
All it would take is a Catholic Pope, in union with all his bishops, to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It's that simple; Our Lady promised it.
**All it would take is a Catholic Pope, in union with all his bishops, to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It's that simple; Our Lady promised it.**
And I believe it. The tricky part for me (and I realize not necessarily you) would be in union with the Bishops.
I'm in full agreement with you. At this point in the Church's history, it would be very difficult for a Pope to get all his bishops in union with him. That is, unless, he threatens each and every one of them with excommunication if they refuse him.
All it would take would be for the Roman Catholic Church to return to the Church of first Seven Ecumenical Councils, place all the innovations and new dogmas on the table and explain to the Orthodox why they should accept them.
Particularly, the position of the pope. From the documents when the Church was undivided, it is clear that the patriarch of Rome, whose title was papa (just like that of Alexandria's patriarch), did not rule the Church. He was first in honor and respect, but he shared his "rank" with other patriarchs. The Church Synod has been known to pass things despite his objections. Bottom line is: the pope was simply not what he is today.
When the pope was elevated to the position of a de facto ruler of the Church in 1870, almost one hundred bishops remained unimpressed and either voted against the resolution or left the Vatican I Council early so as to abstain.
If Rome is really interested in Christian unity, let's go back to the Church as it was when it was united and prove your dogma or change it. Talk of unity is just that -- empty words. If you are so sure that your dogams will pass, then there is no reason not to set the record straight.
We love you and we pray for you. But, let's correct the misunderstandings at the point where they happened.
Communism was imposed by force. That's what revolutions do. They change order of things by force. In the case of Russia, the people involved in imposing its will on the population was a small but radical minority. So much for your expertise on Russia and your understanding of the world.
More importantly, communism failed to stamp out religion. After almost a century of state sponsored godlessness, Orthodoxy is back and growing in Russia. It survived in the hearts and minds of the Russian people, generations of them born in communism. That is the kind of unshakable rock on which the Church was built and on which it stands to this day 2,000 years later in the form of Orthodox Catholic Faith.
Russian Church faced the gates of hell and survived. Nothing could be a more evident proof of its true nature. Instead of giving the Russian Christians credit and praise for passing the test, you deny them even Christianity by rooting to "evangelize" them! How loving of you!
But, against the backdrop of the situation in Western Christianity, and its experiements, deviations, perversions, lack of faith or respect for the Eucharist, innovations, etc. one does not need communism. It seems, the rock on which your Church has been built is somewhat shakier than ours. But instead of rejoycing, we pray for your Church and its return to orthodoxy.
Well, thanks for that incredible display of falsehoods and arrogance.
So, ever hear of a man named Jesus? By what you've added to this discussion, you could learn a few things from him.
And is now about to become one again. GOD IS SO GLORIOUS.
I realized that you agreed with me on that point. It was the Pope that I surmised we disagreed on.