Russian lawmakers see U.S.A. behind religious conflicts


Threat to the spiritual sovereignty of the country discussed in Federation Council

by Mariia Starikova

Kommersant, 12 July 2019


Large-scale "moral wars" are being conduct against Russia. This is the conclusion to which members of a temporary Federation Council Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty came. Moreover, discussion participants found the roots of events in Ukraine, Greek Mt. Athos, or Georgia "far beyond the ocean." The instrument for interference, the discussion participants warned, often is pseudo-religious organizations financed from abroad. Therefore it was suggested to "beat the enemy with his own weapon," creating noncommercial organizations for aiding the Russian Orthodox Church on its canonical territory. State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov read a report about the interruption of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy (MAP) in Georgia. He stressed that behind the uproar stands a consciously "planned provocation against Russia," which, in his opinion, was planned for at least a year.


Although the Federation Council Commission for the Protection of State Sovereignty is called temporary, it has existed for two years now. And judging by the alarming statements of its members that were heard on 11 July, it will work for a long time yet: the threat to sovereignty, as was stated, is not small. The head of the commission, the first vice-chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Andrei Klimov, briefly laid out the activity from the time of its creation: "ten planning sessions," "nine round tables," "over twenty working conferences." From the thesis report, the text of which was distributed to members, the audience learned that with their participation, "twenty federal laws have been prepared and adopted" and the strategic aspirations of the U.S.A. for changing the political system of the Russian Federation" were demonstrated.


The text of the report also confirmed the creation by the commission of a "Black Book of Interference from Abroad in Internal Affairs of Sovereign States." We recall that it became known in February 2019. According to the senators' plans, the Black Book will include "cases" of illegal interference, primarily in the political processes of Russia and a list of organizations involved in this. Earlier Andrei Klimov had reported that the majority of examples deal with the foreign policy of the U.S.A. It was learned at the session that sections devoted to the interference of the West in the affairs of Ukraine, Serbia, and Venezuela had been developed in detail.


"Washington is doing everything in order to strangle us with the help of so-called soft force," Andrei Klimov explained. "The question of attempts to discredit the Russian Orthodox Church is an element of the attack on the sovereignty of Russia. I draw to your attention that this question is not a religious one. It is a profoundly secular topic. Religion is being used as a disguise." He gave an example of a document which speaks about the "necessity of struggle with the Kremlin along the whole perimeter and in all directions: The U.S.A. has a basic law of 2017 in which it explicitly names noncommercial organizations which are given both directions and money for these goals. It is necessary to protect our sovereignty from threats which are particularly on the religious plane," the lawmaker concluded.


The head of the Center for the Study of Problems of Religion and Society of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Roman Lunkin, proposed "to beat the enemy with his own weapon." He thinks it possible to create on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church "noncommercial organizations" which would be able to work on preserving the sovereignty of Russia beyond its borders. This idea was supported by Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin, a professor of the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy, who noted that "the most difficult for the Russian Orthodox Church today remains relations with Constantinople."


The deputy head of the synodal missionary department of the RPTs, Hegumen Serapion, called attention to the fact that in June interruption of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodox in Tbilisi demonstrates the conduct of "moral wars" against Russia. As Kommersant reported earlier, the uproar broke out because of holding the MAP in the Georgian parliament. State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov (president of MAP since 2018), who was presiding, occupied the place of the speaker of the Georgian parliament, which provoked protests with anti-Russian slogans. "Love is always an imperfect feeling, and its imperfection manifested itself in this situation. Today our suffering is suffering from the shame for the uproar," Hegumen Serapion commented on the situation, for some reason recalling Stalin. "No matter how anyone treats Stalin, but after all, you will agree, nobody demanded that Georgia repent for him."


"Outwardly it sometimes looks like events are occurring in foreign lands—in Ukraine, on Greek Athos, or in Georgia—but these are links in a single chain," Andrei Klimov explained.


"This is not unexpected. These are carefully planned provocations whose roots go far beyond the ocean. Today we said that it is possible this provocation was being prepared for almost a year in order in this specific case to kindle a fire of tension not only near the border of Russia but also with the help of the Georgian diaspora to transfer it to our land. Those who do this want to introduce chaos. We will discuss the topic of the so-called moral wars separately. This is a new term for us, but these wars did not start yesterday and not even when the Kievan Maidan broke out."


We note that after the June events, Deputy Sergei Gavrilov described in an interview with Kommersant that members of the assembly "accepted apologies that were expressed by a number of deputies of the Georgian parliament," while declining to name names. At the session, Mr. Gavrilov stated the opposite: "Nobody has yet apologized, neither orally nor in writing. For 26 years the assembly has occurred in the building of a parliament (of the state that hosts the assembly—Kommersant), and the president of the assembly always is on the presidium and conducts the session. The Georgian side knew about the rule of conduct of the assembly beforehand, for a year. This suggests the possibility of the preparation of an extremely dangerous provocation." (tr. by PDS, posted 15 July 2019)

Background articles:
Russian lawmakers politicize events affecting Russian Orthodoxy
July 9, 2019

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