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    » 01/13/2012, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Moscow Patriarchate proposes creating Christian parties

    Nina Achmatova

    A proposal by Archpriest Chaplin to establish Orthodox political parties has caused great controversy in Russia. For experts, faith-based parties would break the law and could lead to interfaith tensions.
    Moscow (AsiaNews) – A proposal by the Moscow Patriarchate to establish “Christian or Orthodox parties or in-party groups” has caused a stir. The idea comes from Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin (pictured), head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations.

    "The Church is positive about the prospect of setting up Christian or Orthodox parties;” however, “it won't provide them with exclusive support or bless them. The Church is for all, not for allies of a certain political force," Father Vsevolod writes in the Orthodox politics blog .

    Under the post "Is it possible to set up an ‘Orthodox/Christian’ political party?” he concludes that "the time of active political parties building is likely to start."

    "The law does not allow to create parties based on religion, but no one will ban the formation of an Orthodox or Christian party without formal mentioning of it in the title - let us recall that Christian Democrats in the European Parliament refer to themselves as the European People's Party, and the moderate political Muslims in Turkey as the Justice and Development Party," he noted.

    According to him, the Patriarchate will not oppose such parties. However, they "cannot have the blessing of church hierarchs or speak on behalf of the Church."

    Orthodox leaders responded to the proposal right away. “Orthodox values would do go to our political life,” said Kirill Frolov, the head of the Association of Orthodox Experts, who has not excluded the possibility that his association might be “a platform for a new party to attract voters.”

    Yuri Shuvalov, deputy secretary of United Russia’s general council presidium, said that Christian values inspire his party already.

    Georgy Fedotov, a member of the public chamber, and political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin, find Chaplin’s proposal dangerous because Russia is a multi-faith society and an Orthodox party could stoke interfaith tensions.
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    See also

    23/06/2011 RUSSIA
    Patriarchate of Moscow launches program for protection of Christians worldwide
    The World Russian People's Council will regularly publish information about violence and abuse against the community. Orthodox Church concerned over christianophobia in the Middle East.

    10/11/2006 RUSSIA
    Mgr Kondrusiewicz received by Moscow Patriarchate for first time in years

    The Archbishop of the Mother of God was received by Metropolitan Kirill. They highlighted the "union" of the two churches in facing challenges posed by the modern world. The Orthodox Patriarchate requested "coordination" of respective local activities. The problem of orphanages and new parishes was discussed.



    19/12/2006 RUSSIA
    Caritas asks for Orthodox priest to provide pastoral assistance
    The Catholic Church in Russia has asked its Orthodox sister to send a priest to provide pastoral care to Orthodox believers working for Caritas in a Nizhniy Novgorod, east of Moscow.

    29/01/2008 TURKEY
    Divided in Ravenna, Russian and Estonian Orthodox to talk
    Bartholomew I is promoting a meeting between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of Estonia. Last October the Russians quit the Ravenna meeting because of the presence of Estonian representatives. In concluding the prayer for Christian unity, the ecumenical patriarch expressed his desire to see the process of unification speed up, stressing how ‘historical’ was the joint declaration made by Catholics and Orthodox in Ravenna. He also talks about spreading the Gospel in Hong Kong.

    22/11/2005 RUSSIA
    Russian monk preaches online
    Russian Orthodox Patriarchate opens website for an old monk who spent time in the gulag.



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