Staunton, Jan. 6 – Even in the dark days of the late 1930s when Stalin had killed or executed most of its leaders has the Russian Orthodox Church been as isolated internationally as it is today, the result of its leadership’s uncritical support of Putin’s war in Ukraine, according to Aleksey Malyutin.
The specialist on religious affairs says that conclusion reflects the exit of Orthodox churches in Ukraine and the Baltic countries from Moscow’s control but also the anger of other Orthodox church leaders and Christian leaders more generally about Moscow’s position (novayagazeta.eu/articles/2023/01/06/tserkov-zheleznogo-kresta).
That international isolation is also making it easier for Orthodox priests and lay people within the current borders of the Russian Federation to distance themselves from Patriarch Kirill and his pro-war hierarchy. They are picking up the arguments of Christians abroad and deploying them against the Moscow hierarchy.
To the extent that continues, the Moscow Patriarchate may soon be a hollow shell, with a leadership ready to support any crime by the Kremlin but without a flock that could make such support worth having. In short, the isolation of the church internationally is leading to its isolation domestically as well.