Great…this is all Syria needed…

2 Jun

…and Syrian Christians in particular…a bunch of frigging priests calling the shots:

Russian Church Is a Strong Voice Opposing Intervention in Syria

(Pool photo by Alexander Nemenov)

From: The New York Times

“Someone once said George Soros was the only American citizen who has his own foreign policy,” said Andrei Zolotov Jr., a leading religion writer and chief editor of Russia Profile. “Well, the Moscow patriarchate is the only Russian entity with its own foreign policy.”

Three and a half months ago, intent on achieving a commanding win in presidential elections, Vladimir V. Putin sought support from Russia’s religious leaders, pledging tens of millions of dollars to reconstruct places of worship and state financing for religious schools…

Western analysts acknowledge the dangers faced by Christians in Syria, but say the church would be wise to distance itself from the Assad government and prepare for a political transition.

“What we see now in Syria is systemic failure — it’s brutal, it’s now an insurgency — but in the end it’s just systemic failure,” said Andrew J. Tabler, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and an expert on Syria. “If the Christian population and those that support it want a long-term future in the region, they’re going to have to accept that hitching their wagon to this brutal killing machine doesn’t have a long-term future.”

The Russian Orthodox Church regularly meets with the Russian Foreign Ministry to discuss its agenda outside Russia’s borders, and is seen by most experts as eager to render support to the Kremlin.”

Obviously “hitching their wagon” to the Assad regime is not a strategy with a long-term future, just like hitching your hopes to Western — even, especially, Russian — protection has certainly always been a losing strategy for Middle Eastern Christians for a few centuries now, but resisting the temptations such ‘protection’ or ‘stability,’ wherever it comes from, seem to offer is easier said than done, especially once the sectarian killing machine has gotten rolling.

As for Russia, somebody needs to put a muzzle on the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church generally — and this is from someone who thought Church freedom and the fall of communism would only happen at the Second Coming and who was overjoyed and stunned to watch it collapse so easily, but they’ve become way too powerful and vocal (fortunately, Russians have that finely honed Orthodox ability for maintaining emotional adherence to the faith while completely ignoring the clergy and the Church-as-institution generally.)  Unfortunately, the only person who could muzzle them a bit is the man who’s muzzled the rest of the country, Putin himself, and as long as the reciprocal back-scratching continues…  To watch this KGB murderer in church with his candle, crossing himself and bowing, turns my stomach.

A friend of mine in Petersburg told me at some point in the mid-nineties: “Everyone who was a communist before has become Orthodox and everyone who was Orthodox before has become Buddhist and the Buddhists just went back to drinking.”



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