Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Top Ten Religious Events in Russia Highlight Moscow’s Increasing Isolation and Repression

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 2 – The Credo religious affairs portal has compiled a list of the 50 most important developments in the religious sector over the last 12 months.  Below are the top ten, which like the other 40, highlight the growing isolation of Russia’s religious authorities from the rest of the world and the increasing repression of the Russian state against believers (

1.       The process of offering autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

2.       Criminal cases against the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the confiscation of their property.

3.       The break in relations between the ROC MP and the Universal Patriarch in Constantinople.

4.       The wholesale replacement of top officials in the ROC MP.

5.       Dramatic growth in the number of government fines for “illegal missionary activity.”

6.       The transfer of parishes from the Moscow Patriarchate’s church in Ukraine to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

7.       The installation of Russian security services veteran as head of the ROC MP’s Sofrino enterprises.

8.       The conviction of a ROC MP priest for pedophilia and his sentence to the camps.

9.       The new Ukrainian law requiring that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarch change its name.

10.   The appointment of Tikhon (Shevkunov) as metropolitan of Pskov, getting Putin’s favorite priest out of Moscow but not reducing his influence as the Russian president later visited him. 

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