What are your impressions of Religion in Russia? Specifically, cite your reactions to the Russian legislation on Religion and other resources provided in the Resources section of Module 7
1. Take 4 minutes and admire the ancient beauty of Russian cathedrals and a haunting chant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOiycw4UQGA
2. Watch this video of a Christmas service at a Russian Orthodox Church. Watch for Dmitri Medvedev and his wife at Orthodox Christmas Mass
4. Look at this research about religion in Russia by the Pew Research Center Russians and Religion
5. Putin on his Christianity Putin
6. Religious Beliefs & Government Statistics 2020: Attitudes Towards Religion
7. Yarovaya law 2016: Is Religious Persecution in Russia Escalating? Elderly Baptist Pastor Charged for “Illegal” Missionary Work Newsweek
8. US State Department Russia International Religious Freedom Report: 2018
9. Read the lecture notes below and answer the test questions on these notes.
IMPORTANT! IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN DB 7, YOU WILL NEED TO REFER TO THE ABOVE RESOURCES.OF COURSE, YOU CAN ADD SOME OF YOUR OWN RESEARCH AS WELL.
EXTRA: For a more in depth study of the Russian Orthodox Church and its relationship with the Russian government, please see this article:
LECTURE NOTES RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
The church service is hauntingly beautiful. One of the reasons is the chanting and hymns and responses sung by an acapella choir. When experienced, it feels like a tidal wave of history washing over you. After hours of standing, you feel as you emerge from the church as if you had been transported to a different world.
The art of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity. It originated with the early church. Icon painting came to it’s apex in the 14rh century. One of it’s great masters was Andre Rublev, a monk who lived in Moscow from 1370-1430. One of his masterpieces, the Holy Trinity, was painted by Rublev in honor of Saint Sergius.
“We knew not whether we were in heaven or earth and we are at a loss to describe it. We only know that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty” (Massie, p.22)
Because of Patriarch Nikon’s insistence of reforms to the service books and rituals, there occurred a split in the church. The “Old Believers” seceded from the ROC and moved away from Moscow and abroad. Today, there is a settlement of OB in Woodburn, Oregon. I visited this group many times while I was in undergrad because my college was only 30 miles away. They live life very traditionally like the Amish in PA. The schism marked the end of the strong church.
III. Imperial Era-17th Century to 1917
The church began to take a subordinate position to State by the 17th century. The church did not approve of Peter’s westernization. Peter ignored the opposition of the church and created a new collective administration of the church instead of the leadership of the Patriarch. This was known as the “Holy and Governing Synod”. It remained in place until 1917. This guaranteed the superiority of the Tsar as the synod was not centered on one leader.
87.3 million believers (70% of the population). 48,000 churches.
Vast empire of schools, monasteries, publishing houses, wineries, farms, tanneries, and small factories.
Targeted the ROC as the enemy of the State. The Soviets confiscated all church property and destroyed churches or used them in contemptuous ways (IE: store manure, factories, execution grounds). Thousands of bishops, clergymen, monks, and nuns were murdered. (8,000 in 1922 alone)
Vigorously continued destruction of the church and leaders.
LECTURE NOTES RUSSIAN LEGISLATION ON RELIGIONLECTURE NOTES RUSSIAN LEGISLATION ON RELIGION
Religious Legislation and The Russian Republic
Everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with other any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views and act according to them.
In the early ‘90’s , Russia became the new frontier for many world religions and sects. Russians were being bombarded with new opportunities to worship. Some religions even tried to win converts with bribing them with trips to the West and to resorts. For a time, Russians were seeking solace in the various religions. Some say it was a fad. By 1996, the ROC began to campaign the government saying that Russia should not allow so many non-Russian churches to convert Russians. The ROC felt that it was their right to the new Russian souls seeking spiritual solace due to the historical background and long suffering of the ROC.
(Article 11.5 file:///C:/Users/sakha/Downloads/RF_Freedom_of_Conscience_Law_1997_am2008_en.pdf ) .
This came under great controversy from the US government, human rights watchdogs and religious groups such as the Roman Catholic Church, Mormon Church, including Baptist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal churches. Effectively forbidding legal status of churches that could not trace its existence on Russian territory during the Soviet Union under General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982). For more details, please see a very interesting compilation of articles, and primary sources Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexi II and from Pope John Paul II at https://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/9707.html .
See: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-yarovaya-law-religious-freedom-restrictions/27852531.html , https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/23/draconian-law-rammed-through-russian-parliament#
The Russian Yarovaya laws: “Федеральный закон (от 06.07.2016 № 374-ФЗ) о внесении изменений в Федеральный закон “О противодействии терроризму” и отдельные законодательные акты Российской Федерации в части установления дополнительных мер противодействия терроризму и обеспечения общественной безопасности,” Pravo.gov.ru | Государственная система правовой информации. Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации, July 6, 2016 and “Федеральный закон (от 06.07.2016 № 375-ФЗ) о внесении изменений в Уголовный кодекс Российской Федерации и Уголовно-процессуальный кодекс Российской Федерации в части установления дополнительных мер противодействия терроризму и обеспечения общественной безопасности,” Pravo.gov.ru | Государственная система правовой информации. Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации, July 6, 2016, which were created to modify the existing anti-terrorism law “Федеральный закон (от 06.03.2006 № 35-ФЗ) “О противодействии терроризму”” Pravo.gov.ru | Государственная система правовой информации. Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации, March 6, 2006. Source: https://u.osu.edu/seej/2018/04/03/limitations-of-an-english-speaking-reader-the-yarovaya-law-meduza-and-news-media-bias/