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Posts Tagged ‘Communism’

Russian Patriarch: Soviet Persecution Was ‘hardest Page’ In Church’s History

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 12, 2017

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, paid tribute to his predecessor, Patriarch Sergius I, who governed the Church from 1925 to 1944.

Ninety years ago, Patriarch Sergius controversially declared his “absolute loyalty” to the Communist regime in an attempt to ensure the Church’s survival.

Metropolitan Sergius took that step without violating by any means either the dogmata or canons,” his current successor said. “His did it to create prerequisites for possible development of relations with the state and for consolidating the situation of the Church in the then Soviet Union.”

Nonetheless, the Church entered “an epoch of terrible persecution” under Stalin, said Patriarch Kirill.

It is the gravest page of our national history, the hardest page in the history of the Church,” he added, as he paid tribute to the “new martyrs and confessors, who remained faithful to Christ, did not waver in their faith and did not reject God and the Church.”

Source

Orthodox Christian Outrage As Film Cleared

Russian Orthodox Christians have protested against the decision to release a film depicting Nicholas II’s affair with a teenage ballerina.

Opponents of Matilda have gathered signatures against the film. Earlier this month, several hundred people gathered to outside a Moscow church, praying for the movie to be banned.

On Thursday, however, the Russian Culture Ministry finally announced that the film had received official clearance for release.

Nicholas II, Russia’s last tsar, was canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000, and is still a divisive figure in Russia 100 years after his death.

As Russia marks the centenary of the year that saw Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks get into power, the film’s trailer has shown intimate scenes involving Matilda Kshesinskaya and Nicholas II who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

Many of the film’s critics see it as blasphemy against the emperor, who is still greatly revered by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Both the film’s defenders and its critics have appealed to the Kremlin which has not publicly entered the debate.

Vyasheslav Telnov, the head of the Russian Culture Ministry’s film department, said: “There is no censorship in Russia, and the ministry of culture stays away from any ideological views of beliefs. A feature film can’t be banned for political or ideological motives.”

Nevertheless, the Russian Orthodox Church still exercises significant pressure in Russia. It has recently played a role in the shutting down of an exhibition displaying nude photos and the cancellation of a performance of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Source

 

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Losing My Religion – Reformation To Blame?

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on April 21, 2012

 

Belief in God is slowly declining in most countries around the world, according to a new poll, but the truest of the true believers can still be found in developing countries, Orthodox and Catholic societies.

The “Beliefs about God Across Time and Countries” report, released 18 April 2012 by researchers at the University of Chicago, found the Philippines to be the country with the highest proportion of believers, where 94 per cent of Filipinos said they were strong believers who had always believed. At the opposite end, at just 13 per cent, was the former East Germany, Religion News Service reports.

“The Philippines is both developing and Catholic,” said Tom W. Smith, who directs the General Social Survey of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. “Religion, which is mainly Catholic, is very emotionally strong there.”

The report covered data from 30 countries that participated in at least two surveys in 1991, 1998 or 2008. In 29 of the 30 countries surveyed in 2008, belief increased with age: Belief in God was highest for those ages 68 or older (43 per cent), compared to 23 per cent of those younger than 28.

While overall belief in God has decreased in most parts of the world, three countries — Israel, Russia and Slovenia — saw increases. The report said religious belief had “slowly eroded” since the 1950s in most countries of the world.

The percentage of believers in the former East Germany is lower than anywhere else. Although, the after effects of the communist society in East Germany are still being felt all over Eastern Germany more than 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the main culprit of religious illiteracy there could only be found in the Reformation of Martin Luther, and in the self-worshiping materialistic ethic of Bismarck’s Prussia.

The six states that make up former East Germany which have the highest percentage of atheists (52 percent of respondents), compared with Western part of Germany, have all originally Protestant background. In Western Germany, predominantly Catholic, only 10.3 percent of those who responded were atheists.

“Countries with high atheism (and low strong belief) tend to be ex-socialist states and countries in northwest Europe,” writes study author Tom W. Smith. “Countries with low atheism and high strong belief tend to be Catholic societies, especially in the developing world, plus the United States, Israel, and Orthodox Cyprus.”

Yet, unlike East Germany, former communist states like Russia, Slovenia or China do have a growing numbers of Christian believers. In fact, China will be the largest Christian nation of the World in a couple of years.

So, what do atheist regions like East Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark all have in common? Protestantism and Prussian way of life.

 

Download the full report here

 

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Atheism Is Not The Answer

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 6, 2008

colddarkatheism
Many people in the world give ideological and economical factors for the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe. But the main and real cause of those communist societies – being exteremly atheistic – is a very chronic absence of spirituality in the day-to-day life of their citizens.

Humans frequently tend to be stubborn and ignorant when it comes to taking a lesson or two from history, or even to learning from the mistakes made in other parts of the world. We seem to repeat the same mistake time and time again.

This is particularly seen in the current wave of aggressive atheism which is wagged against believers in many developed countries.

While Hundreds of millions of East Europeans turn to religion to assuage their spiritual hunger, the atheist community worldwide rush to deny the human nature of humans. To be human is very much about becoming a person and our beliefs are integral to that becoming. As such, visions of “the selfish gene” or whatever other exclusively materialist approach atheists take, (e.g. humans are cognitive information processing machines etc…) they cannot really capture this dimensions of how humans reflect upon their condition and remake themselves accordingly. 

What I find most inspirational, exciting, depressing and chilling is how quickly some dismiss all their religious fervor as delusional, yet, I’m reminded about how much blind, irrational faith we put in our politicians and ‘super heroes’. If you think that people will go to great lengths to lie about religion over centuries, just imagine what people do with money and power.

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