Voices from Russia

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Russian Historian is concerned about the Scale of the “Smear Campaign” Against Tsar Nikolai II

Tsar-Martyr St Nikolai Aleksandrovich the Passionbearer [1868-1918]. Generous benefactor and patron of the American Church.

Pyotr Multatuli, a well-known historian and author of four books about Nikolai II, expressed concern that some domestic and foreign circles smear the name of the last Russian emperor, Interfax-Religion reported. “Even today, the discrediting of the actions of Nikolai II is part of the propaganda war waged against Russia by some factions in the West. That is why the West, with the assistance of some home-grown story-tellers, circulates tons of slanderous pulp-fiction pretending to be new ‘biographies’ of Nicholas II”, he stated at a conference in Moscow. Mr Multatuli regrets that “the smear campaign against the name of Tsar Nikolai II is also spread in Russia. Today, although many historians, politicians, journalists, and public figures tell the truth about the personality of the last Russian tsar, public opinion is still full of deceitful myths about him”, he stated. According to Mr Multatuli, “certain elements in our country consciously support” these myths. “These circles do not want the Russian people to know the truth about their history. As we all know, it is impossible to manipulate a nation that knows its history. For this very reason, they created a wide-spread smear campaign in cinematography, television, and literature intended to defame, to slander, and to pervert Russian history”, he stated.

Mr Multatuli is a great-grandson of Ivan Kharitonov, the tsar’s cook, who was shot in the Ipatiev house together with the imperial family. He wished that we would “understand that discrediting the tsar’s name discredits the name of Russia and legalises the lawlessness that engulfed Russia in the 20th century”. He noted that Nikolai II was an example of “a moral politician”. According to Mr Multatuli, the tsar weighed his policies using morality as his benchmark and “wanted his subordinates to exercise the same judgement in their care for the destiny of their Motherland. Nikolai II cherished all the people of the enormous Russian Empire. The best proof of this is that the Russian population grew by 50 million people under his rule”, he stated. He also pointed out the fidelity of the tsar passion-bearer to Orthodoxy, whilst “Orthodox self-consciousness was absent in the Russian governing élite, who substituted various surrogates, such as whimsical mixtures of mysticism, occultism, freemasonry, socialism, and a search for ‘truth’ in esoteric religions”. Mr Multatuli stressed that during the reign of Nikolai II the Chinese Eastern Railway and the South Manchuria Railway were built, plans were laid for the electrification of the whole country, an oil pipeline from Baku to the Persian Gulf was planned, and the Belomor-Baltic Canal was designed. Major industrial zones in the Urals and the Far East were projected and the Baikal-Amur Railroad trunk-line was proposed. “The Bolsheviks realised these great plans afterwards and passed them off as their own ideas”, he added.

28 May 2008



Editor’s Note:

All Orthodox Christians in America should have an icon of the tsar-martyr in their icon-corners. The tsar was generous to all Orthodox in America, not merely Russians. He laid the indispensable material foundation for our Church in America. Without his generosity, we would have had no faith to practise today. Our debt to this saint is incalculable. If your parish does not honour his feast-day on 17 July, it should. It is the least we can do to show our gratitude to the saint who did more than anyone else to ensure the survival of our Church on this continent.



Fr Andrei Kuraev Believes that the Desire of Yushchenko to Subordinate the Ukrainian Church to the EP is Strange

Deacon Andrei Kuraev (1963- ), professor at the MDA and popular preacher

Deacon Andrei Kuraev, Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy, expressed bewilderment with the recent words of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko that the Ukraine “must move to make an agreement and seek unity with the Mother Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”. “In the days when the metropolitans of Kiev were appointed by Constantinople, it was an Orthodox centre of an Orthodox Empire, it was natural to depend on the Ecumenical Patriarch, but, today it is a bit strange, to put it mildly”, he stated in an interview with Interfax-Religion. Fr Andrei confessed that he can only shrug his shoulders cynically and say, “How strange is the Ukraine’s fate as it faces again and again the same choice as it did in other centuries. Shall it be under Russia or shall it be under Poland and Turkey?” “Nowadays, increasingly, the Ukraine becomes a suburb of Poland in the political and economic sense, and in church affairs, we see this strange delusion to be subordinate to the Turkish Patriarch”, Fr Andrei said.

27 May 2008



Sociologists say that Churched Russians are 34 Percent of the Population, not 4 Percent

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox life,religious,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

“Churched people” (those who actively lead a church life) are about 30 percent of the Russian population instead of 4 to 6 percent as common opinion alleges, claim Vyacheslav Lokosov and Yulia Sinelina, staff-members of the Institute for Socio-political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISPI-RAN). The researchers used methods of defining enchurchment worked out by sociologist Valentina Chesnokova in their article The Religious State of Contemporary Russian Society (Sociological Aspects), which we shall publish on the InterfaxReligion website. The methodology used posits five observed aspects of a “churched person”:

  • Attendance at services
  • Receiving confession, absolution, and communion
  • Reading the Bible
  • Private prayer
  • Observing the given Church fasts

According to their methodology and research data for 2006, about 10 percent of the people are churched and 24 per cent are half-churched in Russia. 14 percent of the population are novices in the faith, only starting to be churched. The researchers claim that over the last ten years, Orthodox believers in Russia started visiting churches, reading church prayers and the Bible more often, while the share of communicants has not changed significantly.

The conclusions of the researchers were based on data from surveys taken throughout Russia by the “Public Opinion” Foundation in 1992, 2000, and 2002, and also on the studies undertaken by ISPI-RAN covering 2004 and 2006.

26 May 2008



Russia May Allot 2 Million Dollars to Restore Holy Sites in Kosovo

Desecrated Icon from the Cathedral of the Mother of God “the Nourisher of Life” in Prizren

The Russian government may allot about 2 million dollars (47.348 million roubles. 1.285 million euros. 1.011 million UK pounds) to restore Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo. At present, the Foreign Ministry is only working on the possibility that Russia may participate in the restoration of holy sites in Kosovo shrines under the aegis of a UNESCO project, Interfax-Religion reported. “The Russian government should make a detailed study of our project first. If it is approved, a team of ranking officials from specialised ministries shall go to Kosovo. They shall determine precisely what sites Russia shall restore”, Grigori Orzhonikidze, executive secretary of the RF Commission of UNESCO Affairs, said in an article in the magazine Ogonyok (Flame) on Monday.

According to Mr Orzhonikidze, only after this evaluation shall it be possible to determine the exact sum to be assigned from the state budget. Tentatively, estimates calculate the final cost at some 2 million dollars. “Then, Russian architects, engineers, and fine arts experts shall go to Kosovo. We shall act under the sponsorship of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the UN mission in Kosovo. By the way, some countries have already allotted funds for this project, for example, Greece and the USA”, Mr Orzhonikidze said.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, commented on the Russian plan and said that “it is a matter of honour to help suffering Orthodox Christians in Kosovo. No doubt, we also need to restore thousands of Russian churches. But, the churches in Kosovo are a different matter. We all remember how radicals in Kosovo disrespectfully destroyed crosses and cupolas, shot at the icons, burnt and blew up churches, in an attempt to wipe out the memory of the Serbian spiritual heritage”, he emphasised. According to Fr Vsevolod, Russia always helped Orthodox churches abroad, in the Holy Land, in Western Europe, in America, in the Balkans, “and for this, they thank us to this very day. Now, Kosovo especially needs our help”.

26 May 2008



Editor’s Note:

Let me quote from the above article. According to Fr Vsevolod, Russia always helped Orthodox churches abroad, in the Holy Land, in Western Europe, in America, in the Balkans, “and for this, they thank us to this very day”. There have been some unfortunate comments posted on the OCANews.org website. It is time to set the record straight.

Most of the early churches in the US and Canada were built using funds from the tsar’s private funds. This was not state money; it came from his personal fortune. This built St Nicholas Cathedral in New York City, parish churches throughout the country (some of which are still in use), a seminary in Teaneck NJ (which had to close after the revolution due to lack of funds), and St Tikhon Monastery in South Canaan PA. In short, this was a substantial legacy that enabled the Metropolia to carry on despite the upset in Europe. If this aid was not given, the OCA would not exist today. Full stop.

The posters claimed that “foreign bishops wish to siphon funds from America”. What rot. Patriarch Aleksei has more money in his personal slush fund than there is in the OCA national budget, the budgets of its dioceses, and all its parish budgets combined. In fact, the Mother Church would be GLAD to help us financially. Look at the good trees! Moscow is sending money already to help Kosovo from MP sources. Look at the bad trees! The OCA still has not disbursed all the funds it collected for 9/11 victims.

All those who posted “foreign bishops wish to siphon funds from America” should hang their hands in shame. They are ingrates who refuse to recognise where the Church in this country came from. You should thank the Church of Russia for what it did. You should thank St Nikolai the Tsar-Martyr for what he did. If it were not for this, you would have no Church to worship in. Show some decency. Otherwise, you are the same as the Albanian vandals in Kosovo.


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