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Friday, July 18, 2008

1020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus

As always, President Yushchenko positions himself as a believer.

July 26, 11:00 a.m., Sophia Cathedral, Sophiyska Ploshcha and Mykhailivska Ploshcha. For the unity of all Christians of Ukraine! Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, representatives of the worldwide Orthodox faith. State celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus.

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13 comments: said...

When the announcer says "For the unity of all Christians of Ukraine!" - do you think he means it broadly or narrowly (i.e. only Orthodox Christians).

On this subject, there is an excellent chapter by Catherine Wanner in an edited volume "Rebounding Identities" by Arel and Ruble.

Taras said...

Good question, Vitaliy!

I think the commercial clearly emphasizes Orthodox Christianity and President Yushchenko’s involvement in it.

As for me, I have more of a problem with the latter than with the former. A personality cult-like commercial that puts a politician on the same footing as a religious leader hardly helps Ukraine’s religious identity.

Technically, as you know, Christianity first sprang on Ukrainian soil in Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast. These territories bore the names of Scythia, Sarmatia and Tavria. Officially, though, Christianity arrived centuries later, in 988 AD, as a geopolitical alliance-building, top-down choice of Prince Volodomyr, the ruler of Kyivan Rus.

In the bloody wars between Ukraine and Poland, the Orthodox faith symbolized resistance to Polonization. In the Russian Empire, Orthodoxy served as an oppressive anti-reform instrument, similar to the inhumane role that the Roman Catholic Church often played in Medieval Europe.

Today, we have freedom of conscience in Ukraine, which allows for religious diversity and includes a vibrant community of Protestant churches.

Thank you for exposing me to Rebounding Identities!:)

The material appears to be objective and insightful, which makes it a must-read for Westerners who want to learn more about Ukraine.

elmer said...

"render unto Caesar what is Caesar's;

render unto God what is God's"

I will be a bit more blunt.

At one time, Kyiv was the second largest center of Christianity in the world, behind Constantinople.

Christianity came to Ukraine by force, because Volodomyr forcibly dunked people in the river. He was looking for a convenient "unifying" force. That's the top-down choice.

In the Roman Empire, the Emperor chose Christianity as the prevailing religion.

Today, a bunch of patriarchs with pots on their heads squabble over church property, money and power.

The rooshan orthodox church, fine KGB agent and political instrument that it is, serves as a political tool today to intrude into the governmental and political affairs of Ukraine.

So what has the orthodox church ever done for Ukraine? Education? Orphanages? Hospitals?


Instead, when the Swedes came to Ukraine to support Ukraine in finally throwing off the yoke of the rooshans at the Battle of Poltava, a sizeable number of Ukrainian cossacks simply --- sat down. Because they were not going to fight against the "orthodox christian brothers" who were enslaving Ukraine.

Protestants come to Ukraine, have been there for quite some time, establish missions, and assistance for widows, and assorted other social projects.

The orthodox pot-heads squeal like stuck pigs, viewing this as an "encroachment" on "their" territory.

The orthodox pot-heads ought to take the pots off their heads and do something for the people.

And realize that there is freedom of religion in Ukraine.

What's funny is that the oligarchs don't give a hoot about religion - they simply continue squablling amongst themselves as the "political elite" and use government to rob the country blind.

The wealthiest oligarch, Akhmetov ($31 billion) is a Tatar.

He is personally financing Donetsk as one of the host cities for Euro 2012 - he can afford to do it, having robbed the country.

The other cities have to rely on "government financing."

The second wealthiest, Pinchuk (at over $3 billion) is Jewish.

30% of the top 30 oligarchs are Jewish.

They are not going to convert to Orthodox Christianity.

All of the oligarchs are going to continue to rob the country blind.

So much for Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine ought to stop wearing religion on his sleeve, and finally live up to the promise of the Orange Revolution.

Marta Salazar said...

dear Taras,

we hope to achieve unity among Christians, not only in Ukraine but throughout the world,


Taras said...

Don’t underestimate Pinchuk, Elmer:)

Korrespondent magazine puts his net worth at $8.8B.

You’re right about the formal culture, vertical relationships, and focus on rituals found in Orthodox churches. Protestant churches, by contrast, thrive on an informal culture, horizontal relationships, and 360-degree communication.

In Ukraine, we also have tensions between the once-dominant and KGB-controlled Russian Orthodox Church, which supports Moscow, and the newly-established Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which gravitates toward Kyiv.

Thank you, Marta!

Unity among Christians as well as peaceful coexistence among different religions would make this world a safer place.

elmer said...

Unity among Christians.

Well, the attitude of the rooshan orthodox is "they are welcome to come to the one true faith."

Here is an interesting little article from the Kyiv Ukraine News Blog, about the mayor of Moscow, whose wife bought a $100 million mansion in Londongrad, calling Ukraine "undemocratic."

It seems that a rooshan govt. TV reporter was doing a story about how Ukraine is "plotting" to separate the "national Orthodox church in Ukraine from the Moscow patriarchate."

There are at least 3 Orthodox churches in Ukraine, one of which is "under" the Moscow partriarchate.

And the patriarchs with pots on their heads and wizard costumes are squealing like pigs, because even though they acknowledge that the "center" of Christianity is in Kyiv, they think that everyone ought to bow down to the wizards in Moscow.

The Moscow patriarchate also ties in neatly with rooshan political attempts to exert control over Ukraine.

Plus, there's a lot of money sucked out of Ukraine that goes to the wizards in Moscow.

Taras said...

Elena Baturina, Luzhkov’s wife, bought herself a £50M mansion, which is £30M short of the £80M paid by Olena Franchuk, Pinchuk’s wife, for her property.

Talk about desperate housewives!:)

Not only have Ukraine’s oligarchs started to outspend Russia’s on real estate, but, according to some sources, they have also outranked them on the list of Europe’s richest.

Now I understand what Yushchenko meant when he promised us, the “little Ukrainians,” back in 2004 that, “The rich will help the poor!

elmer said...

1020 years of Christianity. Hmmm.

I'm glad that Ukraine is having this celebration of Christianity. That's nice.

But it rings a little bit hollow, since Ukraine allowed itself to be taken over by sovok commies, who promptly imposed a state religion - communism, during which the writings of Lenin were taught as if they were the Holy Gospel.

Sick pukes, those commies.

As far as I'm concerned, in the entire history of Ukraine, the 3 greatest events are:

1) the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) taking up arms during WWII against the fascist sovoks for Ukraine, with intent also to fight against the Nazis for a free and independent Ukraine. They didn't want either religion - neither commienism or nazism. They just wanted a free and independent Ukraine.

2) the Orange Revolution - very peaceful, and very effective.

3) the kids giving Kuchma the finger this year during the Paul McCartney concert as Kuchma blubbered and blabbered and prattled on about his impressions and memories of the Beatles on a big video screen. Very peaceful, and very effective.

elmer said...

Ah, yes, Christian unity. And brotherly love.

It seems that the bearded wizard of Moscow is not happy about celebrations of Chritianity in Ukraine.

rooshans don't ever seem capable of being happy. Even if they are big wizards.

President hopes anniversary will bring churches together, but is criticized by Moscow church

KYIV, July 24: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has urged the heads of Ukrainian churches to unite for the sake of state unity. Yushchenko had a discussion today with members of the Ukrainian national church council about how to celebrate the 1,020th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus. The joint celebration of this anniversary will help the churches get rid of misunderstandings and resolve all disputes, Yushchenko said.

However, a representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Father Lonhin, has accused Viktor Yushchenko of meddling in ecclesiastical affairs.

Commenting on media reports that Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew may recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (led by Patriarch Filaret) during his visit to Kyiv on July 25-27, Father Lonhin said in an interview with the agency that such statements were provoked by Yushchenko's calls for forming a single united Orthodox church in Ukraine. Father Lonhin recalled that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has denied such reports, too. "First and foremost, such an answer was provoked by the country's leadership who, lacking competence in ecclesiastical affairs, interfered in relations between churches," he said.

The anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus will be celebrated at state level on July 25-27. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will arrive in Kyiv tomorrow to attend celebrations. Patriarch Aleksey II of Moscow and All Russia will arrive on July 26.

elmer said...

Run for your lives, boys and girls!

The wizard of Moscow with the pot on his head thinks that the Vatican is fomenting a "split" amongst the Orthodox in Ukraine, in order to ---- are you ready for this ------ take over Ukraine.

Oh, those nasty, nasty Catholics. Oh, that nasty scheming Vatican Pope. Oh, vey!

What happens to all those Christians who don't bow down to the wizard of Moscow? Surely they must be risking hell for eternity.

Top Orthodox patriarchs to meet in Ukraine

Kiev, Jul. 23, 2008 ( - The two most powerful leaders of the Orthodox world-- Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow-- will be in Kiev, Ukraine, this weekend to join in celebrating the 1020th anniversary of Christianity there.

The "Baptism of the Rus" is seen by the Moscow patriarchate as the historic foundation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Alexei will preside at a liturgical celebration of the event on July 28.

Patriarch Bartholomew, the acknowledged "first among equals" of the world's Orthodox patriarchs, will also be in Kiev to commemorate the event. But his presence will highlight tensions between Moscow and Constantinople-- and within the Orthodox community of Kiev.

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine has actually been split since 1992, when Metropolitan Filaret-- who had been the head of the Russian-backed Ukrainian Orthodox Church-- broke with Moscow to establish an independent Kiev patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church has refused to recognize that group, claiming that it is schismatic. Instead Moscow recognizes the rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow patriarchate, and emphasizes the strong historic bonds that have bound Ukrainian and Russian Orthodoxy.

However Patriarch Bartholomew has shown a willingness to recognize to the Kiev patriarchate. Ordinarily, other Orthodox leaders accept the churches that receive canonical recognition from the Patriarch of Constantinople. But the Russian Orthodox Church has hotly disputed the Ecumenical Patriarch's recognition of an autonomous Estonian Orthodox Church, and even more fiercely resisted the recognition of Patriarch Filaret's group in Ukraine.

A spokesman for the Moscow patriarchate said that the Russian Orthodox Church hopes the meeting of Patriarchs Bartholomew and Alexei can resolve the tensions over Ukraine. Archpriest Nikolai Balashov to reporters: "We are convinced that the church separations that exists in Ukraine can be successfully overcome only on the basis of Orthodox solidarity.”

Meanwhile at a symposium being held in Kiev, a Russian political analyst charged that the split in the Ukrainian Orthodox community serves the interests of the Vatican, the Interfax news service reports. Konstantin Zatulin, the head of a Russian think-tank, said that the "creation of one local church is a substation on the way to subordination." He rejected the notion that Ukrainian Orthodox believers could unite in a single body independent from Moscow. "When a schism is called unity," Zatulin said, "it is a trick."

Taras said...

Thank you for the articles, Elmer!

Don’t miss my report!

A Sombra said...

They tried it with the help of the Bolsheviks Lypkovski in the 1920's, they tried it with the help of the Germans during World War II, and now they try again with the deposed and defrocked Philaret Denisenko-the only bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate to be deposed due to cheerful and excessive service to the KGB.
Well, it did not work in the 20's, it did not work during WWII, and will not work with Denisenko! Orthodox Churches are NOT created by disaffected former clerics, nor by political power brokers, whether they be Red, Black and Red, or Orange!
Orthodox Churches-when a "new" Church is formed-must do so with the approval and blessing of the Mother Church-in this case, the Russian Orthodox Church.
You can argue all you want to about what happened in the middle ages, what Constantinople said 500 years ago, what Lypkovski did, what Metropolitan Dionisy of Warsaw did, or what Mystyslav Skrypnyk accomplished working with the Germans-it all matters NOUGHT! The fact remains that the Russian Orthodox Church is the Church that will or will not give Autocephaly (Independence) to any "Ukrainian Orthodox Church"! The news media will not decide it, the European Union will not decide it, any number of Human Rights organizations will not decide it!
Once the Ukrainians learn about the Canons of the Orthodox Church, and what exactly comprises a legitimate Orthodox Church having legitimate sacraments, legitimate clergy having Apostolic Succession, and is a legitimate expression of the Holy Orthodox Faith, perhaps they will quit worrying about questions of narrow nationalism!May God grant it!

Taras said...

We’re both putting Caesar before Christ. That’s what I call theopolitics.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse. I’m not a very religious person but I do know how Christianity came to Ukraine. It came from Constantinople, not from Moscow. In fact, Moscow imported Christianity from Kyiv and remained part of the Kyiv patriarchate until obtaining a patriarchate of its own. The rest is history, the ever-changing tide of history.

What makes us different is that you support a church that preaches against Ukraine’s national interests, and I don’t.