Voices from Russia

Monday, 15 June 2015

Religious Procession in Lugansk Honoured the Icon of the Mother of God “of Lugansk”

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Narration in Russian, but worth watching for the visuals


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Believers held a procession through the main streets of the capital in honour of the icon of the Mother of God “of Lugansk”. At 08.00, at All Saints parish (near the bus station at the trolleybus depot) held Divine Liturgy, and at 15.00 a procession began from the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tenderness” parish to All Saints part. At the end of the procession this evening, the clergy will serve the Akathist to the Most Holy Godbearer and Mother of God.  From 12 to 14 June, with the blessing of His Eminence Mitrofan Yurchuk, Metropolitan of Lugansk and Alchevsk, believers held celebrations to honour the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “of Lugansk”.

In Lugansk, the Church celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God in June for three days… as she commanded Elder-Deacon Filipp of Lugansk (here and here) (Filipp Yeliseyevich Gorbenko, born 22 November 1858). Hagiography has it that the Mother of God appeared three times in different years to Elder Filipp, showing him a route of a procession across the city. Elder Filipp had the icon of the Mother of God “of Lugansk” painted, and it was in his cell until his death, but people often photographed and copied it during his lifetime. After his death on 22 November 1956, people thought that the icon was lost forever. However, in 2009, by happy circumstance, a local TV crew found it in Aleksandrovsk, where Elder Filipp served as a deacon in his last years. As it turned out, the icon didn’t disappear as all sources claimed; it just was in a hidden place all the time, waiting for the right time. This icon is closely associated with the prophecies of Elder Filipp, who promised that it’d play a crucial role in the life of the city and become a landmark in its history.

14 June 2015

LITs Lugansk Information Centre



Thursday, 4 October 2012

4 October 2012. Something to Hang Onto During the Dark Times Ahead


There’s going to be a lot of wild n’ goofy stuff coming down in the next month… trust me, you won’t know one end from another. If it starts getting to ya, cross yourself, and say, “Holy Mother, help me!” That’s all… that’s all you need. It’s a twofer… as the icon indicates, the Holy Mother doesn’t come without her Son. It’ll help… I know. There… and I didn’t charge you 25 bucks for the clue-in, like some people we know…

Reach out… she’ll be there…


Thursday, 23 August 2012

German Pussy Riot Copycats May Face Three Years in the Slam


On Thursday, The Local news website reported three copycats of the Russian female punk group Pussy Riot may face three years in prison after the Catholic Church pressed charges against them. The trio, who disrupted a service in the Kölner Dom on Sunday, may face a longer prison sentence than the band they support if a court charges them and finds them guilty.

According to the Frankfurter Rundschau, two young men and a young woman wearing balaclavas… similar to ones Pussy Riot wore during their blasphemous action in Moscow’s central Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February… tried to disrupt a church service. The trio, who carried a banner reading “Free Pussy Riot”, distributed flyers and shouted. Security guards led them out of the cathedral. The Local quoted Robert Kleine, the cathedral’s dean, as saying in Frankfurter Rundschau, “They disturbed the peace of the Kölner Dom… we can’t and won’t accept this. The right to demonstrate can’t be set above the right to religious freedom and the religious feelings of the congregation”. Now, the state could prosecute the three unnamed activists for a breach of the peace and disrupting the free practise of religion, which is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of up to three years, or a fine. A Berlin man received a nine-month prison sentence in 2006 when he disrupted a service on German Unity Day.

An edited clip of Pussy Riot’s protest posted online showed the group alternately high-kicking and crossing themselves near the entrance to the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, to accompany the song Holy Shit urging the Virgin Mary to “drive out” President Vladimir Putin. The song contained words insulting to Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and to all believers. A Moscow court found three band-members guilty of hooliganism and each received a two years’ prison sentence on 17 August. This attracted both media attention and international criticism, which Moscow dismissed as “groundless” saying the band’s act was not an issue of artistic performance but was “insulting to millions of Orthodox [Christian] believers”.

23 August 2012



Editor’s Note:

Here’s the REAL DEAL. Firstly, former-NYC Mayor Ed Koch weighed in:

I don’t believe the issue is properly one of freedom of expression. The right to free expression isn’t unlimited, and it doesn’t mean one can say anything anywhere and at anytime. Furthermore, Russia and most countries don’t have embedded in their law the Constitutional protection of the First Amendment that we do. I, for one, am delighted they now punish religious hatred. Aren’t you?

Next, Vlad Legoida, HH’s Communications Director, gave his two bits:

The inspiration to cut down the cross didn’t come from nowhere. Those who declare that the limitless creative freedom of the artist is always right prepared the ground for this. Alas, amongst them are respectable journalists, experts, writers, and musicians… who fight for the freedom to insult and mock. This, I repeat, isn’t just a trivial anti-Church campaign; it’s a demand for the dismantling of Christian civilisation. … We don’t want to leave our children a society built on lies and hatred, a society that has no fear of the consequences of its actions, a society that glorifies the haters of the Christian faith.

Now, some crazies decided to provoke the Krauts. That’s a wrong move, if there ever were such. Trust me… if they violated a statute, and they did, they’re going to face a German court that’s not going to count the political cost the way the Russian leadership did. All that they’re going to ask is, “Did these jabronies break the law?” If the answer’s “yes”, they’re going to the slam tout suite, and no one’s gonna cry, either (and it’ll be done in a flash… even faster than they do it in Lubbock).

The shoe DOES pinch when its one’s own foot, doesn’t it?


Saturday, 18 August 2012

Orthodox Church Asks Authorities to Show Mercy on Pussy Riot


High MP Officials appealed to the government to “show mercy” on the three members of Pussy Riot sentenced to two years in jail for a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s main cathedral. In a statement released by the MP High Council, ­“Casting no doubt on the legitimacy of the court’s decision, we appeal to the public authorities to show mercy, within the law, on the convicted in the hope they’ll never repeat such blasphemous actions”. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Ekaterina Samutsevich were each been sentenced to two years in a medium-security prison for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The statement went on to say, “We think the words of pity for the convicted that came from the Church’s children and other people are natural. It’s necessary to divide the sin from sinner and reprimand the first while hoping the latter will improve”.

The Church condemned “the intentional act of blasphemy” as well as the “rude hostility to millions of people and their feelings” they say that Pussy Riot manifested back in February. They also pointed out that blasphemy, which qualifies as “a sin against God”, could only receive absolution after “sincere repentance”. Still, the Church urged those hurt by the punk performance to abstain from revenge or violence.

This is the first official statement from the Church since the trial began. As did President Vladimir Putin, top clerics refrained from remarks that could affect the judge’s decision. Nevertheless, Putin ventured a small comment on 3 August, saying the three girls shouldn’t be judged too harshly. In February, Pussy Riot performed a “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. Dressed in bright, short dresses and balaclavas, they sang a song with controversial lyrics, slamming a perceived merger of state with the Church, and called on the Virgin Mary to banish Putin, who was Prime Minister at that time.

17 August 2012

Russia Today


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