Voices from Russia

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin said that the Church Rejected the Notion that Orthodoxy should be the State Religion

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), Head of the MP Department of Church and Society


Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Church and Society, reiterated that the MP’s position on the question of Church/State relations hasn’t changed, and it isn’t going to in future, either. “We don’t want the Church to become part of the state apparatus, of the government administration, assuming roles proper to secular authority. I think that most people understand this, they’re aware of the Church’s position, they realise that it’s definite, and that it’s not going to change”, he said in commenting on a survey conducted by the service Среда (Wednesday), in conjunction with the Public Opinion Fund, of 1,500 people in 44 RF subjects, in 100 cities and towns. According to the poll, 30 percent of Russians are in favour of Orthodoxy being the state religion, 48 percent are against it, and 23 percent of respondents were unsure of their position on this question.

According to Fr Vsevolod, the system of Church/State relations in Russia over the past ten years hasn’t changed, neither the rules laid down in the RF’s statutory law nor the procedures embodied in MP ecclesiastical regulations. “The fact that the Church is now more numerous and active doesn’t mean that we should review its stance in regards to proper relations between the state and religion”, he emphasised. Fr Vsevolod pointed up that the Church isn’t trying to replace the state or formulate a politicised ideology. He thought it’s not the case that “a lot of people right now are urging the Church to become an organ of the authorities, namely, to assume the status of a state religion. Maybe, it’s more likely that people believe that the Church should have a higher legal status. Well, that’s what many people think. We’ll see how it affects things in future, on how it affects legal and political realities”.

14 July 2011




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