Voices from Russia

Monday, 31 December 2012

31 December 2012. VOR Presents… Moscow Prepares for New Year Festivities

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Muscovites wrapped up their preparations ahead of the New Year celebrations. The Russian capital put the final touches to its festive look since 1 December, whilst New Year trees made their appearance in streets and public venues closer to year’s end.

28 December 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/99528939/99528962/

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31 December 2012. VOR Presents… Russia’s Main Holiday Tree Ready for New Year and Christmas Celebrations

00a Kremlin Holiday Tree. 31.12.12

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The property managers of the Moscow Kremlin installed and decorated a 30-metre-tall (@100-feet-tall) spruce as the city’s main outdoor New Year and Christmas tree. The decorations include almost 4,000 tinsel items and 4,500 energy-saving light bulbs. There’s also an indoor holiday tree, installed in the State Kremlin Palace, which is going to host children’s parties. The first party will be on Tuesday 25 December for kids from large families, orphanages, and winners of contests from all over Russia.

24 December 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/99138311/99138334/

Editor’s Note:

No, it isn’t a “Christmas Tree”… it’s a “Holiday Tree”, as it’s for both Christmas and the New Year. It’s a tree for all Muscovites and all Russians, of all nationalities and all beliefs (including secularism). In any case, trees aren’t “native” to Orthodoxy… they came in with the Germans in the 18th century. Lighten up… it’s not an assault on Christianity. There ARE secular holidays, after all… and we should enjoy them.

BMD

Hollywood Russian Orthodox Parish’s Altar Artefacts Stolen

Transfiguration Cathedral. Los Angeles CA

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Members of a Russian Orthodox parish in Hollywood pray that the suspect that stole dozens of religious artefacts from their church altar, including the communion chalice, will return the sacred items before they celebrate traditional Christmas services on 7 January. Detectives with the LAPD’s Hollywood station are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect who burglarised the church at 5432 Fernwood Avenue on 22 December. A police statement said, “An unknown individual entered Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Church, gained access to the altar room, and stole numerous religious artefacts”. Police said that the perps stole 37 items, including ornate crosses and chalices for communion.

A member of the church, who gave her name only as Lebedeff, said, “The community’s very upset. We’re praying for the man who did it. We’re praying for this man, that he’ll feel guilt and bring them back”. This Russian Orthodox parish follows the Julian calendar, which means that it celebrates Christmas on 7 January. Holy Transfiguration has been in LA for more than 70 years, Ms Lebedeff said, noting, “We really never had any kind of theft. It was a complete shock to us, to know that someone had come onto an altar, where no one should be walking. It’s intimidating. It’s like someone coming into your home”. Lebedeff said the congregation came to church 23 December and noticed that the altar appeared desecrated, stating, “This person has no conscience. We’re just hoping he realises that, for his soul’s sake, he’s hurt so many people”. Detectives with the LAPD’s Hollywood station are requesting that anyone with information related to this incident contact them at (213) 972 2931. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at (1-800) 222 8477.

Susan Abram

Los Angeles Daily News

30 December 2012

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22284589/hollywood-russian-orthodox-churchs-altar-artifacts-stolen?source=rss

Editor’s Note:

Ms Abrams obviously had no clue that she was talking to a member of the rector’s clan, who’s Alexander Lebedeff. As no age for the interlocutor was given, we don’t know if it was Lebedeff’s wife or a younger family member. Nonetheless, Lebedeff saw to it that the reporter got a “reliable” story… that is, he saw to it that the reporter only heard what he wanted her to hear. It’s just another normal day in the life of a First Family apparatchik…

BMD

Russian Orthodox Church Supports Law Banning Americans from Adopting Russian Kids

NO!

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Despite a wave of criticism from civil society groups and members of the Russian government, the MP backed the controversial “anti- Magnitsky bill” that President Vladimir Putin signed into law last Friday. As of 1 January, the new law bans adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. The new Russian law was in response to an American law, the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials suspected of involvement in human rights violations. In 2009, lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison under suspicious circumstances after exposing fraud involving the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The case of Dima Yaklovev inspired the Russian law; it was named for a Russian-born toddler who died after his American adoptive father forgot him in his car. An American court eventually found the father not guilty in the child’s death. The law also targeted American-funded Russian NGOs involved in political activities and foreigners involved in violating the human rights of Russians abroad. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the MP Department for Church and Society, said the law was “a search for a social answer to an elementary question… why should we give, and even sell, our children abroad?” Speaking to Interfax, Chaplin said the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners, pointing up, “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing”.

For the critics of the Russian Orthodox Church, its support for the law is the latest example of its submission to the Kremlin, in which it acts more like a government ministry than an independent spiritual body. Patriarch Kirill hasn’t spoken on the matter since the controversy broke out. Once Putin signs the bill into law, the patriarch said the Church would set aside an unspecified amount of money to help orphans and families in difficulty. Human rights activists are critical of the law, echoed even by some Russian government figures, including Putin loyalist Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov. Besides the ban, the law calls for an improvement in the conditions of orphans. It’d also provide incentives to Russian couples to adopt.

However, the problem in Russia is cultural. Adoption is seen as something to hide. In addition, only very young and healthy children are prized because of biases against alleged “genetic defects” passed on by poor families. The anti-Magnitsky law also stops adoption procedures already underway. Thus, 52 Russian children ready to leave for the USA will remain in Russia. The New York Times slammed the Russia law for upending the plans of American couples in the final stages of adopting in Russia. Already, it has cost many of them 50,000 USD (1.53 million Roubles. 38,000 Euros. 31,000 UK Pounds) or more, at a wrenching emotional price. American adoption agency officials said that the law would affect about 200 to 250 sets of parents who’d already identified children they planned to adopt.

UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children outside parental custody in Russia, whilst about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child. The USA is the biggest destination for adopted Russian children… Americans took in more than 60,000 of them over the past two decades.

31 December 2012

Nina Achmatova

AsiaNews

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Russian-Orthodox-Church-for-law-banning-US-adoptions-26740.html

Editor’s Note:

Fr Vsevolod is right by pointing up, “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing”. That’s right… the sectarians… Evangelicals, Pentecostalists, Mormons, and all the rest of the American Sects… aren’t Christian in the least. Look at their “services”… I rest my case. Lex orandi, lex credendi… “How one worships is how one believes”. “Three hymns and a lecture” do NOT make Christian worship. This was one of the most disgusting aspects of the economic collapse of the Nasty Nineties… the Americans stealing Russian kids to raise them as godless sectarians. That’s going to end, thank God. VVP isn’t perfect, but he’s right in this case. Ponder this… all too many of the konvertsy (Josiah Trenham and Freddie M-G are good examples) are indifferentist towards sectarians and sectarianism. That speaks volumes of their depth, doesn’t it? Rather, the lack of same, wot? Shitbirds of a feather do flock together…

OH, yes, the reason that these adoptions cost 50 Gs is that American lawyers wax fat on the sorrow of childless couples. I’m certain that a very cold corner of hell awaits such soulless brutes.

BMD

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