MOSCOW, August 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The head of a large dairy company near Moscow has informed his 6000 workers that company policy will require all employees to closely follow the teachings and precepts of the Russian Orthodox Church.Source
Vasily Boiko-Veliki, director of Russkoe Moloko (Russian Milk), told Ekho Moskvy radio that the company was established to promote the Orthodox revival of Russia, and the rules were meant "to prevent future sins by employees."
"We have about 6,000 employees, most of whom are Orthodox, and I expect them to be faithful and to repent," Boiko-Veliki said.
Answering the question if he employs only Orthodox believers, Boiko-Veliki said, "There is no limitation, but baptized people mostly come, whose goals in life coincide with ours, the Orthodox transfiguration of Russia."
The new rules require all Orthodox Christian employees who are civilly married or living together to be married in Russian Orthodox Church ceremonies by October 14, the feast of the Protection (Pokrov) of the Mother of God, or face the possibility of dismissal.
Newly-hired Orthodox employees who had been married in civil ceremonies would be given three months to have a religious wedding.
Boiko-Veliki explained that those who are not baptized do not have to marry in the church, but all employees will be able to take an educational course on basic Orthodox culture.
The new rules also state that anyone procuring or counseling for abortion would face dismissal from work.
“Abortion is the murder of someone. We do not want to work with murderers,” Boiko-Veliki told Ekho Moskvy.
Vladimir Vigilyansky, head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Patriarchal press service, told the media that the Patriarchate was critical of Boiko-Veliki's methods of spiritual transfiguration at a private company, but noted that the church in Russia has undergone a marked revival since the collapse of Communism.
The Russian businessman commented on the prolonged heat wave and resultant forest fires that are plaguing the western part of the country, and said that a return to the practices of the faith, such as sacramental marriages, could improve things.
"This summer of abnormal heat and drought is a judgment upon Russia’s godless ways," Boiko-Veliki told Gazeta.ru. “Our prayers are probably too weak and there is no repentance in our hearts.”