Orthodox Theologians Issue Statement Rejecting Moscow Patriarch’s Teaching


Church in the village of Bobryk, Kyiv region after a ‘special military operation’ Image: @nexta_tv

More than 530 Orthodox theologians around the world have issued the following letter and statement strongly rejecting the “Russkii Mir” or (Russian World) ideology currently promoted by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow…

Dear friends,

In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s unconscionable and horribly destructive invasion of Ukraine, Orthodox Christians everywhere are faced with a difficult question: how can a nation whose majority embraces Orthodox Christianity justify attacking and kill the inhabitants of a sister nation, who almost all share the same faith?

How, at the start of Great Lent, when our tradition calls us to forgiveness, fasting and prayer, can Orthodox Christians unleash violence and bloodshed against their brothers and sisters in Christ?

The painful truth, but which we must face in this time of repentance, is that our own leaders, and more specifically the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church, have developed and promoted a false teaching known as “Russkii Mir” or “world,” providing Mr. Putin with the religious “blank cheque” that guarantees his heinous invasion and annexation of Russia’s peaceful, democratic neighbors: Ukraine.

During this holy season, Orthodox Christians everywhere must unequivocally declare that the “Russian world” ideology is both false and destructive, fueling violence and bloodshed, causing scandal and division. in the church. Nor can we delude ourselves that this ideology is an exception in the history of Orthodoxy: we must condemn all orthodox ethno-phyletic ideologies related to the false teaching of the “Russian world” in all ages, nations and cultures. .

Orthodox scholars and theologians have written a powerful statement (see link below) regarding the theologically condemnable ideology of the “Russian world”. We invite you to read this Declaration, sign it and share it with others.

We urge you to pray for the repentance of those who propagate this diabolical teaching, which continues to fuel the megalomaniac ambitions of Vladimir Putin. Pray also for the repentance of every Orthodox Christian, for our own complicity in this evil through silence, obscuration and denial.

Only if we confront this evil, which thrives both inside and outside of us, bowing deeply in repentance with the simple words of the Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete: “Have mercy of me, O God, have mercy on me! let us truly reaffirm our divided and bloodied community as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, united only by our broken and contrite hearts in the person of Jesus Christ, who alone is with us in adversity.

See the Declaration here: https://bit.ly/3KD1HOC (There is a form at the end if you wish to add your name)

The Coordinators on behalf of the Editorial Board
Revd Dr. Brandon Gallaher
Dr Pantelis Kalaitzidis

Key words: Ukraine, Orthodox, Orthodox Theologians, Russkii Mir, Russian World Ideology, Putin

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