Staunton, April 24 – Vladimir Putin has proudly claimed and all too many in the West accept at face value that he is a defender of Christianity and its traditional values. In fact, as a new report released by the University of Notre Dame, the Kremlin is among the countries in the world where repression of many denominations of Christianity is an increasing fact of life.
Of the post-Soviet states, the Under Caesar’s Sword project says, only Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan fall into the category of high levels of persecution of Christians. But Russia and all others in the region, except for the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia fall in the moderate persecution one (ucs.nd.edu/assets/233538/ucs_report_2017_web.pdf
1. Christian communities most commonly adopt survival strategies. These strategies include going underground, flight, and accommodation to or support for repressive regimes.
“2. Strategies of association are the second most common response.
“3. Strategies of confrontation are the least common response.
“4. Christian responses to persecution are almost always nonviolent and, with very few
exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism.
“5. Theology—in particular, a Christian community’s theology of suffering, church,
and culture—influences the response of that community.
“6. Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are more likely to be persecuted
than mainline Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, or other Christians
associated with ancient churches. In response to persecution, evangelical and Pentecostal
Christians are more likely to engage in strategies of survival or, on rare occasions,
confrontation. They are less likely, however, to engage in strategies of association.
Mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christians, on the other hand, are more likely
to respond through strategies of association.
“7. The intensity of persecution only partly explains Christians’ responses.”