The Unz Review:ㅤA Purge in the Russian Orthodox Church, by Rolo Slavskiy


21-06-22 04:00:00,

The Russian Orthodox Church has been affected by recent events as much as the rest of Russian society has. Now, more than ever, the Church is being asked to support the government and this has had ripple effects on church politics. The biggest story is the unceremonious demotion of Metropolitan Hilarion. Once the Russian Orthodox Church’s ambassador to the West and Ecumenist-in-Chief, Metropolitan Hilarion has now been stripped of his official positions. This is almost certainly because he refused to support the special operation in Ukraine. While we don’t have conclusive proof of this yet, we can piece together the story by looking at recent events in context and then puzzle out the implications that this will have for the Russian Orthodox Church going forward.

The Hilarion Controversy

Metropolitan Hilarion is an outspoken and liberal-minded priest who formerly occupied very high positions in the Church hierarchy.

When he was a much younger man, he was a vocal anti-Soviet activist clergy member. There is an interesting 2020 interview of Hilarion where he shared highlights from his career in the faith. An interesting episode that he brought up was the time he spent serving in Vilnius. He, apparently, personally went on TV to call on the Soviet soldiers to disobey their order to put down the independence protesters in Lithuania. The protestors had decided to seize the TV stations as part of their coup and the Soviet troops stationed at these communication hubs had been given orders to defend them,

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