Voices from Russia

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Nearly Half of Americans Associate Climate Change with the End of the World

Fr Vladislav Provotorov. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 1985

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Fr Vladislav Provotorov



The Atlantic, citing the Public Religion Research Institute , wrote that almost half of Americans, namely, 49 percent, believe that climate change and natural disasters portend the beginning of the Apocalypse. At the same time, the number of people with such views depends on which segment of the population that you ask. For example, often, white Evangelical Christians take the view that natural disasters are a sign of the End Times, and are less inclined to believe that this is a consequence of climate change (in the survey, one could choose both). On the other hand, the majority of black Protestants not only believe this, but more strongly. The study notes that since 2011 the number of Americans who believe that such things are a sign of the Apocalypse or Doomsday rose. The survey results came from telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish from 18 September to 8 October 2014 amongst 3,022 people over 18-years-old living in the USA (1,502 were interviewed using mobile phones).

22 November 2014

Rossiya Segodnya


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Prophecies of Venerable St Lavrenty Chernigovsky

Ilya Glazunov. The Kiss of Judas. 1985

The Kiss of Judas

Ilya Glazunov




Remember how the Church views prophecies… it’s not what “will be”… it’s what “can be”. One of the most basic teachings of the Church is Free Will. These things can happen if we’re not vigilant and true. If we are, we can put things right. Otherwise, prophecy would have no point, would it? After all, remember the “Sign of Jonas”… he preached and the people of Nineveh repented. Shall we do likewise?

Prophecies often seem strange… but they ARE warnings that Christians disregard at their own risk. Do recall St Serafim Sarovsky’s prophecies given to the last tsar… they came true in every particular. Remember, we DO hold the future in our hands… the True Church does NOT teach predestination or fatalism. Bear that in mind as you read this.



As it’s impossible to divide the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the One Lord God; so, it’s impossible to divide Russia, the Ukraine, and Belarus, which together are Holy Rus.

Venerable St Lavrenty Chernigovsky


St Lavrenty Chernigovsky died 60 years ago on 19 January 1950. The future Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, Kirill Gundyaev, quoted the above words of Saint Laurence of Chernigov in speaking to youth during the celebration of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.

St Lavrenty’s prophecies of the Last Days are well-known in the Orthodox world. Today, people pass them on, often without reference to the author, “There will come a time when all the closed churches will reopen, repaired both outside and inside. Their domes and bell towers will shine with gold. Finally, when they all shine in glory, the time for the reign of the Antichrist will come. All the churches will be incomparably splendid as never before, but you won’t be able to go inside of them”.

What do we know about this Orthodox prophet of the Soviet era? Schema-Archimandrite Lavrenty, in the world Luka Yevseyevich Proskura, was born in 1868 in Karylskoe (Korop Uezd in Chernigov Guberniya… today, Korop Raion in Chernigov Oblast in the Ukraine). He was the sixth child in a believing and pious peasant family. In early childhood, disaster struck… during games, he fell and hurt himself so badly that it crippled him for life. As if in recompense for his physical disabilities, God bestowed many gifts on Luka… including an ear for music and a love of singing. In Korop, Luka met a former director of the Imperial Choir, who came from this locality, who immediately appreciated the boy’s ability and began to teach him the art of choral direction. Under him, Luka learned to play the violin. At 14-years-old, Luka became a choir director, holding rehearsals in his home. Six years later, he took monastic obedience at the St Nicholas-Rykhly Pustyn. Luka showed prayerfulness in his singing and rigour in complying with the Ustav of the services, and his direction of the choir led to it evidencing a polished performance. During this period, we know that St Lavrenty made three otpusts to Mount Athos and visited the holy places in Palestine. In 1905, Bishop Antony Sokolov of Chernigov and Nezhin transferred Luka (by then, a Novice) from the Rykhly Pustyn to the Chernigov Trinity-St Ilya Monastery to act as choir director. Here, in 1912, in the 45th year of his life, Luka took monastic vows, taking the name Lavrenty. Two years later he became a deacon, and, in 1916, a hieromonk. In 1923, under the Bolsheviks in Kiev, Fr Lavrenty secretly took the schema at the Lavra under Schema-Igumen Gavriil, and in 1928, he became an Archimandrite. During the Renovationist schism, Fr Lavrenty unhesitatingly took the side of Patriarch St Tikhon Bellavin. He condemned the communist government; nevertheless, he didn’t recognise the ROCOR, he taught that the true Church was the one purified in the crucible of persecution.

Immediately after the revolution, Archimandrite Lavrenty took on, as did Ss Antony and Feodosy of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, the obedience of living in a cave. In 1917-25, at the Trinity Ilyinsky Monastery in Chernigov, he dug caves at Boldinoi Gore, which people later called the Lavrentievymi. These caves were particularly deep and long. Next to them were the Alipievy, the caves dug by Igumen Alipy, a fellow struggler with Fr Lavrenty. He set up an underground monastery in the cave, with a church dedicated to St George the all-Victorious. Elder Lavrenty prophesied the death of Fr Alipy to him… soon afterwards, the atheists brutally killed Fr Alipy in Ulyanovka in Sumy Oblast. By the way, the “terrible Basavryuk” (a character in a Gogol story)… Viktor Yushchenko… was the manager of the savings bank here for nine years.

In 1930, when the communists closed the Trinity Monastery, Fr Lavrenty secretly settled in a little house in Chernigov, meeting his spiritual children at night. He conducted services in a small Ilyinsk parish. Until 1941, he lived in hiding. During the war, after the capture German troops captured Chernigov, the 73-year-old elder organised two monastic communities… a men’s house of 35 monks and a convent of 70 nuns. His last abode was the Chernigov Trinity-St Ilya Monastery; on Easter 1942, Fr Lavrenty resumed serving at the Cathedral.

Nun Yevlampiya, in whose house he lived after the closure of the monastery, preserved a memory of an amazing event. She said, “It happened in 1939. Batyushka talked the whole night, with whom, I couldn’t make out. I didn’t dare to step in and see with whom. In the morning, he said, ‘Matushka, we had guests, and you’re a witness to that’. I asked, ‘Who?’ He replied happily, ‘God prophesied through Ss Ilya and Enoch. They talked to me about the Last Judgement, Russia, the Orthodox Tsar, and the Antichrist. They told me that Apostle St John the Theologian would come to talk to me, too’”. That happened only after ten years passed, in 1949, during the night of 26 September/9 October. According to Elder Lavrenty, he talked with the Apostle St John the Theologian for about seven hours. Archbishop Simon, Archbishop Feodosy, Bishop Iakov, and Archimandrite Feofan testified about what St John told Fr Lavrenty.


Ilya Glazunov. Christ and Anti-Christ. 1999

Christ and Antichrist

Ilya Glazunov



“They’ll crown the Antichrist as King of Jerusalem in a magnificent temple with the clergy and the Patriarch (obviously, of Jerusalem). He will give free entry and exit to Jerusalem for everyone. However, don’t go! He’ll do all sorts of things to deceive you. Antichrist will come from lascivious virgins… from the Jewish twelfth tribe, ‘from fornication’. Even as a boy, he’ll be very capable and smart, especially since when he becomes a boy of 12, he’ll walk with his mother in the garden, and meet with Satan, who’ll came out of the very abyss and enter into him. The boy will shake with fright, but Satan will say, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you’. After this, the boy will grow into a man and become the ‘Antichrist’. At his coronation, where they read the Creed, he won’t let them read it; where the words proclaim Jesus Christ as the Son of God, he’ll deny it, and recognise only himself. The Patriarch will exclaim that this is the Antichrist, but for this, they’ll kill him. At his coronation, the Antichrist will wear gloves. When they shoot him, the Patriarch will notice that the Antichrist has claws on his fingers, not fingernails, so, this would be a sign that this was indeed the Antichrist. The Prophets Enoch and Elijah will descend from heaven, who will explain it to the people and exclaim, ‘This is the Antichrist, don’t believe him!’ He’ll slay them, but God will resurrect them and bring them back to Heaven”.

“Satan will train the Antichrist in all way of tricks, and he’ll give false signs… not in church, but in every house. In the corner where holy icons now hang, will stand a seductive thing (apparently, the TV) to deceive people. Many will say, ‘We need to watch and listen to the news’. The Antichrist will give out the news… his people will stamp their “seal” on everyone. He’ll hate Christians. He’ll begin the last persecution of Christians… those who refuse to take on Satan’s seal… this seal will be readily visible, it’d be obvious whether a person received it or not. Christians won’t be able to buy or sell anything. However, don’t let this discourage you… the Lord won’t leave His children… the Lord will take the weak, and purify those with faults. This war will wash away sins in blood, and show the martyrs. The Lord will take the most powerful believers to Him. Until He completes the number of witnesses of God, and until there’s a complete falling away of the ruined angels, the Lord won’t come in Judgement”.

During 1942-50, Fr Lavrenty lived in the Chernigov Trinity-St Ilya Monastery. He departed to the Lord on 19 January 1950, at Epiphany. The elder’s body laid in state for a week before the funeral. Believers touched the hands of the body and noticed that they were warm and soft, as though he was asleep. Then, the open coffin with Fr Lavrenty’s body was in lower church of the crypt of the monastery for 20 days, and no one saw any evidence of decomposition during this time. On 5 March 1950, they placed the elder’s body in the tomb. The communists closed the Holy Trinity-St Ilya Monastery in September 1962, during Khrushchyov’s persecution of the Church, and access to Fr Lavrenty’s tomb wasn’t possible for a long time, until 1988. On 22 August 1993, the UPTs/MP Holy Synod canonised Archimandrite Lavrenty of Chernigov as a “Venerable”. When they opened the tomb of the holy elder, it filled with a marvellous flavour, the air became moist, and its physical nature changed, as if engorged with the heavenly… heavenly fragrant oil. The incorrupt relics of St Lavrenty of Chernigov have a dark brown colour, like the relics of the ancient Fathers of the East and the Kievo-Pecherskaya saints, the podvig of which the elder imitated man during his lifetime. Today, they’re in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chernigov.

To return to the prophecies of St Lavrenty, one should note that they not only concern the “End Times”, but they also speak of the present… for instance, the schism in the Ukraine. “In the Ukraine, the demons will unleash all sorts of false doctrines and secret atheists (Catholics, Uniates, ‘Ukrainian Orthodox’, and others) will turn strongly against the canonical Orthodox Church, attacking its unity and integrity (соборности). These heretics will support an atheist government; therefore, they’d try to destroy the Orthodox Church and persecute its believers. Then, a Metropolitan of Kiev (not worthy of this title), together with like-minded bishops and priests, will strongly shake the Russian Church. However, he’d end in eternal perdition, as did Judas. Nevertheless, all these slanders and false teachings of the Evil One will disappear in Russia, and the One Church, Russian and Orthodox, will stand… there’s never been a Patriarch in Kiev; the Patriarch was always in Moscow. Beware so-called ‘Ukrainian Orthodox’ and the Unia”.

Fr Kronid, Vicar (Наместник) of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, who was present at this conversation, said that St Lavrenty noted that the schismatics and Uniates had disappeared (since 1946). He said that the elder told him, very sadly, “The devil will enter into them, and they will turn their satanic malice against the Orthodox Faith and against the Church, but they’ll suffer a shameful end, their followers will suffer the punishment of Heaven from the Lord God of Hosts”. St Lavrenty spoke strongly and strictly on “our native designation… ‘Russia’ and ‘Russian’. Be sure to remember and not forget that it was the Baptism of Rus, not the Baptism of the Ukraine. Kiev is a second Jerusalem and the Mother of All Russian Cities”. He also said, “The Ukraine… an outlier of what? Why is it a borderland?! The Poles brought us the concept of ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukrainian’; are we to forget the name ‘Russian’, and be forever separated from Holy and Orthodox Rus?” Today, people throughout the Ukraine venerate St Lavrenty of Chernigov, including many believers in Filaret’s schismatic “church”, who got into it in error or in the wish to embrace a so-called “Ukrainian faith”. Obviously, they do not know the prophecy of St Lavrenty, that Denisenko “will go into eternal perdition, as Judas did, pulling along with him many of his followers”.

The prophecies of Venerable Lavrenty spoke not only about the coming of the Antichrist and the church schism in Ukraine, but also of our Church on the eve of the “End Times”. Contemporaries recalled that he’d sigh and wipe away the tears, saying, “Before the End Times, the clergy will get carried away by worldly wealth. They’d have a car and house, they’d visit resorts, but they’d forget the Jesus Prayer! They’d forget it! Then, they’d get on the wrong path, and they’d lead the faint-hearted down the same path! However, you be wise and prudent. Listen to their beautiful words, but don’t do what they do! I tell you, and I’m very sorry to have to tell you, that they’d buy houses, and waste time clearing big beautiful monastery premises. They wouldn’t have enough time for prayer, even though they vowed not to own anything! Many, many of these priests will die for their negligence and careless spiritual life! Most priests will betray the Holy Church and mislead the people. They won’t think of their own salvation, much less that of others”.

Terrible words… It’d be better not to know them. It’s rare for us to learn of a prophecy beforehand (as it was, for example, with the predictions of St Serafim Sarovsky), and in time for us to do something of it. Isn’t this a sign from above that we… both clergy and believers… should be able with God’s help to change what we can?

21 January 2010

Andrei Vorontsov



Friday, 21 December 2012

Buckwheat Will Save Us All: Doomsday, Russian Style

Fr Vladislav Provotorov. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. 1985

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Fr Vladislav Provotorov



Contrary to what the Russian media tells you… about crystal skulls, the planet Nibiru, and Buddhist oracles speaking to NASA… the vast majority of Russians didn’t believe the end of the world would come on or around 21 December. Then, again, you never know. According to a nationwide poll released Wednesday, 9 percent of Russians believed it “likely” that doomsday would strike this Friday, as foretold by some interpretations of a Mayan calendar, while 33 percent more considered it unlikely, but not impossible. A tour guide at a Moscow museum-cum-Apocalypse shelter told RIA-Novosti when asked about the end of the world, “I don’t believe in it, no, but a shadow of a doubt lingers, you know. What if?” The guide, a college instructor, asked not to be identified to avoid embarrassment. A few people went as far as to take actual precautions, but sporadic examples of doomsday preparedness have been surfacing among all the country’s social classes… from urbanite bohemians to villagers in snowy backwaters. Some sought shelter, some stockpiled food and other necessities… all of them seemingly tapping into the historical memory of a country where nearly every generation of the past hundred years was hammered by some calamity. Whether from early-Soviet famines, or the privations of two world wars, or the consumer shortages before and after the demise of the USSR, Russians know better than most that a little hoarding can go a long way.

Bunkers to Fill

Bunker 42, a dim chilly labyrinth with sloping floors, lies 65 metres (214 feet) below the surface of downtown Moscow. Its winding corridors bring to mind 3D shooters, and their metal-plated walls could induce claustrophobia in a Tolkien dwarf. The space, with four separate cavernous rooms, was built in the early 1950s, at the onset of the Cold War, as a nuclear bomb shelter for the top brass of the Soviet Air Force. Abandoned for years after the Soviet collapse and snapped up by a private entrepreneur in the early aughts, it now houses a museum loaded with Soviet memorabilia and rents out event space. On Friday, it also doubled as a doomsday refuge, but visitors did not find bags of flour stacked against the wall. Instead, they were invited to pay 30,000 roubles (970 USD. 735 Euros. 600 UK Pounds) for entry to a 12-hour party that promises to not only keep them safe from the Apocalypse, but also provide food, entertainment, and TV coverage. These preparations for the end times offered a wry show for wealthy fun lovers. That’s another lesson Russians have learned well… faced with fatal threats, sometimes, all that you can do is laugh, relax, and have a good time. A Bunker employee, who asked not to be identified because management wanted to keep the event’s details under wraps, said, “But we’ve got no lack of nut jobs trying to book rooms”. Izvestia claimed last month that companies offering bunker-installation services reported a surge in interest from people checking on shelter construction costs (starting price, 500,000 roubles (16,200 USD. 12,275 Euros. 10,000 UK Pounds). However, the paper said that very few actually shelled out the money.

Booze & Buckwheat

In a nation with an average monthly salary of 900 USD (27,800 Roubles. 680 Euros. 560 UK Pounds), people can’t afford to spend too much on doomsday avoidance. However, concerned citizens did what they can. Back in October, in the Siberian city of Tomsk, a wedding planner started selling Apocalypse survival kits comprising buckwheat kasha, candles, notepad and pencil, some vodka, basic medicines, rope, and soap (soaped rope doesn’t chafe the neck, so goes the popular belief). The kit, priced at 890 roubles (29 USD. 22 Euros. 18 UK Pounds), was marketed as a hipster joke; a “lite” version on offer in Moscow included only the rope and soap. Naturally, everyone is free to customise their own kits, and some Russians seemed intent on doing just that… a number of stores throughout the nation reported fast dwindling stocks of matches, candles, salt, and buckwheat kasha, Russia’s staple food for perilous times. Media reports seemed to fuel the hoarding. In Omutninsk, a town of 25,000 in northern Russia, hundreds of locals stormed the shops for food and candles after a local newspaper plugged a hole on its pages with a reprinted story about the impending doomsday. Nearby towns, which don’t get the paper, reported no such craze.

This and several other cases of stockpiling mania were recounted to no end in the media, grossly exaggerating the number of serious doom-mongers. Only 3 percent of Russians admitted stocking up on foodstuffs and other necessities ahead of 21 December, according to this week’s survey by state-run pollster VTsIOM, which had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. Another 1 percent said they prayed to God ahead of the doomsday, whilst 75 percent said they did nothing. The reasons for inaction included “there’s no point”, although the pollster didn’t specify how many people gave that answer (fatalism is reputed to be a typical Russian trait). The assortment of coping strategies is broad… hoard, party, give in. When stories of survival… in war, famine, economic upheaval… have reached so many generations of Russian ears, you can’t blame people for taking precautions. Even though President Putin personally laughed away doomsday rumours on the eve of the dreaded 21 December, Russian history teaches that, in the end, you never know.

22 December 2012 (MSK)

Aleksei Yeremenko




Sunday, 10 June 2012

10 June 2012. A Photo Essay. Pray for the Suffering People of Palestine…





There’s much rubbish in the American media about “Palestinian terrorists“… well, excuse me. How many of you know that AmericanEvangelicals” support Israel because they believe it’ll hasten the “End Times“, bring on the “Rapture“, and usher in the Reign of Christ after a so- called “Time of Tribulation”. It’s all a misreading of the Apocalypse of St John the Theologian (the last book in the Christian Bible). They don’t even cavil at nuclear warfare, as they believe that it’ll provoke the Second Coming. I’m NOT making this up… it’s what they truly and honestly believe.

As for us, pray for our Palestinian co-religionists (yes, many Palestinians are Christians), and pray for their Muslim neighbours, too… both have been savagely and contumaciously lied about in the Western media. What would YOU do if you gun-toting strangers came by, demanding and taking your land? Hmm… that sounds suspiciously like American Protestants and how they stole most of America from the Indians and Mexicans, isn’t it? Like does call unto like…

Remember this… many of the recent Christian émigrés from the Middle East are fleeing American-fomented violence and mayhem. You KNOW what to do in November… kaufft nicht bei Romney!


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