» 04/05/2011, 00.00
Moscow Patriarchate calls on the faithful to hang the crucifix in schools and offices
Archpriest Chaplin calls on Orthodox to be more courageous in demonstrating their faith. Human rights activists protest: ideas that contribute to dividing society.
Moscow (AsiaNews) – Fresh controversy has broken out in Russia between the Orthodox Church and human rights organizations. The head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for Relations between the Church and society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, has appealed to the community of believers to be more courageous in showing their faith. "We should have no qualms about making the sign of the cross wherever we like, or hanging an image of the crucifix, where we live and work," the priest wrote in an article published in the April issue of the Orthodox journal Sovereign Rus'.
The idea of the crucifix in the workplace or in schools has angered human rights activists. "The problem in our society is not the number of crucifixes on the walls, but immorality," Lev Ponomarev, a noted leader of a human rights movement, told Interfax. "Concern yourselves more with prayers and sermons - he continued, addressing Chaplin – and not with pushing for official displays of Orthodox attributes”.
He stressed that in Russia, church and state are separate and attacked the Patriarchate’s interference in civil society. "I think that religious symbols have no place in public offices, schools or in institutions - added Ponomarev – for example, if they were hung in schools, what would the many Muslims say? Would they start asking to hang the crescent? And why is it needed? All this will only contribute to dividing society. " Ponomarev has, however, admitted that if some people work in offices that are considered Orthodox, nobody has the right to prevent them from hanging a cross. " Bolstered by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights that has found display of crucifixes in classrooms not in violation of human rights, Chaplin continues to launch high-impact hypothesis on a society that is still recovering from 70 years of state atheism. In the case against Italy raised by a citizen of Finnish origin Sole Lautsi, the Moscow Patriarchate has always openly supported Italy.
Medvedev steers religions toward young people, but blocks Jehovah's witnesses
The Russian president is involving the traditional confessions in programs on behalf of young people. The Kremlin wants to reinforce relations with the Orthodox, make the Patriarch of Moscow a point of reference for all religions, and attribute a strong political value to his position. Jehovah's Witnesses accused of social isolation.
Joke award for the Patriarch of Moscow. The Duma wants tougher penalties for incitement to religious hatred
The majority party United Russia prepares amendments to the penal code to ensure that the Church is not the subject of satire or negative comments. The Patriarchate approves: it will help avoid civil war.
Beijing threatens lawyers: "Don't help anti-government protesters"
According to the new rules, published by the All-China Lawyers Association, lawyers "should not help those who present or prepare petitions to the government or the Party."
Putin a candidate for the Kremlin; Moscow Patriarchate: an example of integrity
The Orthodox Church supports the Prime Minister's choice to run again for president. Meanwhile, the exchange of roles within the tandem yields its first casualty: Finance Minister Kudrin ousted.
Russia against Putin, the Orthodox Church warns against "revolutions"
The central government fears uprisings along the lines of Ukraine’s orange revolution, but people just want to see their right to transparent elections respected. Medvedev opens an investigation into possible election fraud. Anti-Putin groups plans another rally for December 24.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.