Friday, 5 December 2008

The death of a Patriarch and a look at religion in Russia

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Reading of the death of Patriarch Alexy II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, reminded me of our March/April cover story, in which Michael Binyon, who was Moscow correspondent for The Times from 1979-82, took a look at the relationship between the Russian government, i.e. Putin, and the Orthodox Church.

It's well worth revisiting in light of the Patriarch's death. As Binyon wrote, since the fall of communism religion has been back in full swing in Russia, with the full support of Putin. The Church tows the government line, and in exchange the Patriarch has the ear of the powers that be. Now the Church will have to choose a new Patriarch, and you can rest assured that person will come with the Kremlin's seal of approval.


Garkbit said...

_toes_ !!!

Epacris said...

Seconding Garkbit. You don't tow that kind of line by picking it up & carrying it; you line up along it with all the others, looking down & shuffling back & forth, using your toes as the markers.