Press Release – August 29, 2022
For Immediate Release
The ‘Putinization’ of american orthodoxy
In the months following Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine, some in the U.S. media have noted a strange phenomenon, something we might call the ‘Putinization’ of Orthodox Christianity in the United States. National Public Radio (NPR) for example, did a story in May stating: “Orthodox Christian churches are drawing in far-right American converts” (https://n.pr/3e6qgs6).
This report implied an infiltration of the Orthodox Faith in America by those holding extreme right-wing views and a glorification of the Russian State and Church, even seeing an autocrat like Putin as some sort of savior. While all religions contend with extremism from time to time, this ‘Putinization’ is a troubling development.
The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) would clarify an unjust portrayal of such broad strokes about extremism in the Orthodox Church. Yes, peculiarities exist, and these peculiarities give rise to a righteous concern that the Church is being manipulated. The Orthodox Church is a 2,000-year-old unbroken continuum of the preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and OPAC decries any attempt to paint it otherwise.
With the invasion of Ukraine, certain fault lines have been revealed and any such ‘Putinization’ that glorifies a self-serving dictator and the state-religion apparatus that supports his cruel and inhuman ends should be called out for what it is: iniquitous and devoid of any spiritual value.
OPAC hopes for a more balanced consideration from the media when writing about Orthodox Christianity and for honest reporting about the heinous complicity of the Moscow Patriarchate and any other religious body, either in America or around the world, that supports and glorifies the unjust and un-Christian war Russia has started against Ukraine and her people.
Truth Lives in Light!