Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

MP to Start Global Environmental Campaign in 2013

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The MP plans to begin promoting green values starting with next year. Orthodox parishes in Russia and abroad will involve their members in environmental volunteer work. The initiative will include countries other than the Near Abroad. Russian Orthodox parishes across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Latin America will educate believers that the voluntary protection of nature is a duty honoured by the Archpastoral Council. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said, “This environmental promotion isn’t just aimed at one country. What concerns Russia also concerns foreign countries”.

Unlike Greenpeace and WWF, this programme won’t be political; its purpose is purely educational. The Russian Conservation Society assisted the MP in developing “green guidelines” for all Russian Orthodox parishes to follow. Aleksandr Kazakov of the Russian Conservation Society said, “We don’t plan to tie ourselves to oil rigs or lie on railway tracks to stop nuclear waste trains. Russian Orthodox parishes abroad will take part in educating people, improving their environment, and supporting those who feel compromised by pollution from a nearby plant or busy highway”. Parishes would start by improving their immediate neighbourhoods, which could include developing the property and facilities around the churches. Kazakov said, “People in Germany may want to take part in conserving the Rhine. Five European countries have already joined hands to restore the river, but it needs constant attention”.

The church will rely on donations only to fund the program, including from Russian businessmen living abroad. For example, last spring a parish in the Seychelles asked for assistance from Mikhail Prokhorov and Bidzina Ivanishvili. Potentially, the MP could mobilise tens of millions of people who could be green volunteers. The programme could be of interest to former and current Russian nationals as well as to foreign members of the church. There is a good chance that the Local Churches in Belarus and the Ukraine would join this environmental initiative. The programme’s organisers feel certain that the MP’s conservation efforts wouldn’t face resistance from local authorities and other religious communities, and they hope to enlist the help of local volunteers. Oleg Kalimullin, communications adviser for the MP, said, “There’s no reason for conflict when it comes to keeping water clean”.

The only possible obstacle to the church’s environmental activity could be intentional politicisation by local public figures. The programme will review similar experiences of other Christian groups. However, the final draft would be based on Russian experience. Priests would receive encouragement to study environmental science and the biosphere. Educational material would offer an Orthodox perspective of green issues to students, scientists, and children. Moreover, sermons might include prayers for the prudent use of natural resources and the protection of the environment with the focus on both urban and rural needs.

12 October 2012

Izvestiya

As quoted in RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/papers/20121012/176579219.html

Editor’s Note:

Yet again, the Real Church stands up tall against the Republican Rape the Earth for Quick Profit ideology. That’s why rightwing poseurs like Patrick Reardon and Josiah Trenham don’t belong in the Orthodox priesthood. The Church is in favour of single-payer healthcare, social justice, a full social safety net (along with generous family subsidies from the state), and the state’s full role in society. The crackbrained konvertsy deliberately distort the teaching of Christ and His Holy Church, in order to curry favour with lunatic fringe elements on the Far Right. That makes them Sergianists (obsequious suck-ups to the powers-that-be) of the vilest sort. Odd, every real instance of “Sergianism” that I’ve seen involves kissing up to the Radical Right, not up to the Left.

You can have HH, who DEMANDS the immediate end of the American embargo against Cuba and DEMANDS that the state honour its full obligation to the poor and indigent, or you can have Josiah Trenham, Patrick Reardon, Victor Potapov, and Rod Dreher, who obsequiously kiss the naked bums of the most godless and moneygrubbing members of the Republican Party at high noon, for everyone to see them. It’s your choice…

BMD

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