Thursday, January 18, 2024

Animated by Biblical Injunction ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,’ Russian Christians Opposed to Putin’s War Being Persecuted by Their Own Denominations as well as Russian State

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 14 – Since Putin launched his expanded war in Ukraine, the leaders of most officially recognized religious groups in the Russian Federation have come out in support of the Russian invasion; but many clergy and laity in a variety of Christian confessions have spoken out against the war, believing they must obey the Biblical injunction not to kill.

            For their efforts, they have been persecuted both by their own denominations and by the Russian state. The cases of 57 such people have been documented by anti-war Christian groups as of yesterday but the actual numbers are certainly far higher (,esledovanie-hristian-za-antivoennuyu-pozicziyu-ili-podderzhku-ukrainy-v-zashhite-ot-agressii-so-storony-religioznyh-organizaczij-i-vlastej/ and

            Because the official churches are so willing to engage in the suppression of dissent on the war, thus betraying their own teachings, the Russian government not only has gained a powerful ally in its own efforts to do so but has not had to intervene as often and thus has been able to avoid the condemnation of others for doing so.

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