Friday, August 10, 2007

Quote of the day...

“We guarantee freedom of conscience and religion. The government shall protect canonical Orthodoxy from nationalistic expansion and legislatively forbid the work of totalitarian sects … The moral and spiritual values of the people of Ukraine shall be protected.”
- Platform of the Ukrainian Communist Party

Hat tip to The Young Fogey

1 comment:

Young fogey emeritus said...

Thanks for the attribution and link. A case of strange bedfellows, perhaps helping the Orthodox but also with the risk of backfiring, playing into the hands of the Western-backed anti-Russian people in power: 'See? It's just like in Soviet times when the Communists backed the Moscow Patriarchate!'

And that may well be the Communists' motive - nostalgia for a feeble, tolerated state-backed church they can control, to contain religion.

Something similar may be happening in the 'rogue' country of Transdniester - Russians living in a strip of industrial real estate that historically is part of the Ukraine but the Soviets gave to Moldova (really part of Romania historically). Now that Moldova is independent they don't want to be romanianised and want to remain Russian so they fought for and won their independence. But they're not recognised by any country's government. Anyway, Transdniester has been described as a throwback to Soviet times (I think the same old party boss, Igor Smirnov, is in power) - which makes sense because that's all the Russians there knew - but there is a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Tiraspol, the capital. AFAIK Orthodox are free to practise their faith.

(There is still a unit of the Soviet-turned-Russian army stationed there so the Moldovans back off. The obvious solution is like with Kaliningrad in the Baltic - union with Russia even though it's outside the current borders.)

Likewise in the recognised country of Belarus (which like the Ukraine is really largely Russian but more so), also accused of being a Soviet throwback, AFAIK the Orthodox operate there, no problem. In a way it's the opposite of the Ukraine - nationalist schisms (and other non-Orthodox religions) are cracked down upon by the state.

Not ideal to a Western libertarian but hey, if that's what the Russians want it's none of my business.