Category Archives: Tsar Nicholas II

Two Criticisms of Tsar Nicholas II

  1. The Tsar smoked.

This is a common modern objection. Yes, of course, Tsar Nicholas II was a heavy smoker, probably about forty a day. Some today are scandalized by this, forgetting that at that time virtually all men smoked and it was considered unhealthy not to smoke. Indeed, the more you smoked the better. In the early part of the century women also smoked, but in private. After the evening meal, well-off men would retire to a purpose-made ‘smoking room’ in order to smoke – this was normal, the way of life of the time. And some well-known clergy, including bishops, smoked in that period.

Later film stars and politicians (Churchill’s cigars) all smoked. Soldiers in both World Wars were issued with a generous daily ration of cigarettes – they were expected to smoke. Those who did not smoke were considered to be abnormal.  I can remember the old generations of clergy (both those born before 1917 and those born in the emigration in the 20s and 30s) smoking quite openly. We have to consider the fashions of the time. No-one then knew about the links between smoking and cancer and heart disease; indeed right up until the 1950s Western doctors were still advertising smoking as ‘good for you’. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  1. Through weakness of character and indecisiveness Tsar Nicholas II did not take tough enough measures to prevent the 1917 Revolution and so he failed to protect his own family from death.

This is a common accusation, both from the past and from the present, but without foundation.

Anyone who has read the history of the 1905 troubles (Tsar Nicholas never called them a Revolution) and how he suppressed the terrorism of that time through military means and field courts that issued the death sentence within 48 hours will know that he could be very tough. He had to be – in order to protect his more than one hundred and fifty million subjects from a few thousand ruthless foreign-financed terrorists and amoral anarchists. Soviet historians called the Tsar cruel and bloodthirsty for so doing: now we have the opposite extreme of criticism – he is said to have been not harsh enough! But why did he not do the same in 1917 as he did in 1905?

In fact, he did try to do in 1917 as in 1905, but this time the military elite refused to obey him, committing treason. It was the betrayal of the generals which meant that Tsar Nicholas’ orders to put down terrorism in Saint Petersburg were not obeyed, so guaranteeing the success of the bloodthirsty terrorists. Without the loyalty of the generals Tsar Nicholas was lost. This explains why a relatively small revolt led by a few thousand activists in the capital lost the whole Empire. It also explains why Tsar Nicholas’ family was murdered with him – none of them ever thought that the elite would show such ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’. It was all unforeseen.

Here again, hindsight tells us that Tsar Nicholas underestimated the scale of the treason of the elite, above all, of virtually the whole elite of his beloved Army. Here we should remember that hardly anybody, including the Kerenskyites and the Bolsheviks, thought that a Revolution would be successful in 1917, let alone that the Empire would collapse into chaos so swiftly. Here too is another reproach that the worldly-minded make: Tsar Nicholas should have known and forestalled the Revolution, arresting all the traitors. This reproach is on the same level as those who blasphemously say that Christ should have known that the pharisees would arrest Him and crucify Him, that He should have called on the legions of angels – therefore Christ Himself was to blame for His own crucifixion.

The Kerenskyites, well-off professors, lawyers, pseudo-intellectuals, aristocrats, bourgeois Duma politicians, freemasons and generals, who all betrayed the Tsar, soon discovered after their Revolution that if they had escaped death from the Reds, they were to find themselves in unexpected and melancholy exile and often great poverty. This exile was their self-inflicted punishment, though, tragically, only a few of them showed repentance for it. Instead, they blamed the innocent Tsar for their misfortune by claiming, for example, that through weakness of character and indecisiveness he had not been tough enough on the revolutionaries (i.e themselves!). This was all hypocritical self-justification for their own betrayal.

The punishment for this betrayal was shared by the Great Powers of Europe. The mystical history of Europe shows us that the betrayal of the Tsar in 1917 led to the collapse of the seven Western Empires, first the German and the Austro-Hungarian, and then a catastrophic Second War which led to the collapse of Mussolini’s fantasies and Hitler’s racist Reich, and then that of the British, French, Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese colonial Empires. All were punished by history. After 1917 there followed in Western Europe a century of Americanization and vassalization, as seen by the entry of US forces into Europe in 1917 and their occupation of Europe since 1942-1945. This contributed to the 1914 suicide of European culture and the degeneration of Europe into its state of loss of spiritual and moral being, the loss of national identity and culture, futile decadence and powerlessness, the EU.

 

 

Most of a Life

Foreword

I may live another twenty or thirty years, but equally my time on earth may come to an end tomorrow, next week, in a month’s time, or next year. No-one knows, but I have no illusions. Now that I am coming to an end, it is fitting to set down the three tasks of my destiny which have filled my unworthily lived days. It is my belief that others will more effectively continue these tasks after me, just as many others worked on them both before me and at the same time. And although, not always in positions of power, they worked far more efficiently and with far greater success than me, it has often felt as though I were totally abandoned in these tasks. I never chose them – they fell to my lot despite my clear manifold human weaknesses and equally clear unsuitability and unwillingness to fulfil them.

With the Saints

My first task has been the modest contribution to spreading the veneration of the Saints of Western Europe in the Church. This meant fixing them in locally-issued calendars, praying and writing their lives and compiling, collecting and celebrating their services and icons. This was a bitter battle and cost me enormously, for resistance from all sides without exception was very harsh. Isolation was my lot. There were – and are – so many who resist the saints. Altogether, above all by the reposed Monk Joseph (Lambertson) whom I much encouraged, services were compiled to nearly one hundred saints or groups of saints of Western Europe who did not yet have one. Victory came slowly and over forty years later several such saints were included in the official Russian Orthodox calendar, with more to follow.

Church Unity

My second task has been to help contribute to the restoration of the unity of the two parts of the Russian Church and to call others outside it, for example those who had fallen away in Paris, to unity with it. My part was very, very minor, of course, but it must have helped, for people told me it had. Having visited the Soviet Union twice in the 70s and seen the lamentable state of much of the Patriarchate in England and France, I could see that nothing could be done until the fall of the Soviet Union. Only that would bring the liberation of the hostage episcopate there. So it was only in 2000 that it repented for its compromises with the atheist government and so its failure to recognize the New Martyrs and Confessors earlier, as well as for its politically-motivated compromises with heterodox.

Equally, however, the Church Outside Russia would have to reject decades of the spiritual impurity of sectarian politicking with the treacherous and tragic Vlasov movement and its CIA backers, as well as its own embarrassing failure to canonize the New Martyrs until as late as 1981. Victory came only in 2007 with the Act of Canonical Communion, signed in the presence of thousands of us in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the Russian Patriarch and President and longsuffering clergy of both parts of the Church in attendance. That Cathedral had been built to commemorate the 19th century Orthodox victory over the French atheist Napoleon and rebuilt to commemorate the 20th century Orthodox victory over the German atheist Marx. Thus, the Cathedral became the place of a threefold victory.

A Life for the Tsar

My third task has been to help contribute to the restoration, now inevitable, of the Orthodox Empire, based in Russia under the coming Tsar, just as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied nearly 200 years ago. This has been and is, if anything, the hardest of all. This is because it involves the Incarnation, that is, the political, economic and social ramifications of our understanding of the Incarnate Christ. Resistance here is ferocious and mocking, for our struggle is with the Devil himself. Firstly, we must defend the holiness of Tsar Nicholas, both in life and in death. Secondly, we must defend all those faithful to him, many not yet canonized. Thirdly, we must promote his shining vision, which was a century ahead of its time but tragically interrupted for a blood-soaked century by ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’, as he described.

Afterword

Some might say that then all has been completed. This is not so. The task for Rus, to spread veneration for the Western saints of the first millennium Church is to develop much further. The task for Faith, to see the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe in a single Metropolia, the foundation of the future new Local Church, helping build up a little part of it in my native East of England, is nearing its conclusion, but is not complete. Finally, the task for the Tsar, to explain his holiness and defend his healing vision of justice and balance after a century of global injustice and wars, which resulted directly from his overthrow by internal traitors, so-called allies, Great Britain, the USA and France, and enemies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, and to implement that vision, so long delayed, has only just begun.

 

International Nicholas II Conference, Colchester, 27 October 2018

This historic event will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth and 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Russia’s last emperor and tsar.

Five speakers including Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert, Archpriest Andrew Philips, Nikolai Krasnov, authors Frances Welch and Marilyn Swezey, will deliver seven lectures on Nicholas II.

The Conference will take place in St John’s Orthodox Church in Colchester, England on Saturday, 27th October, between 10 am – 4 pm.

Tickets are £25 per person, and include all the lectures + refreshments. Parking is available. 

http://conference. tsarnicholas.info

Foreign-Organized Bolsheviks Massacred the Tsar, His Family and His Servants 100 Years Ago: Four Weeks To Go

In four weeks’ time we will mark the hundredth anniversary of the massacre of Imperial Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II and his Family. On 17 July 1918 their foreign-organized captors herded the family into a basement of a house in Ekaterinburg, at the meeting point between Europe and Asia. Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra, their daughters Olga (22) Tatiana (21), Maria (19), Anastasia (17) and Alexei (13) fell under a hail of bullets. In a ritual of evil the family’s corpses and those of three loyal servants and the family doctor were then stripped naked, mutilated, disfigured, burned with petrol and acid and secretly buried. So fell Christian Russia, which had for over 900 years resisted both the Mongol-Tartar hordes from the East and the Catholic-Protestant hordes from the West, keeping the balance in the world from these extremists.

Throughout the ‘Heartland’, from Kaliningrad to the Bering Straits, stretching nearly half-way around the northern third of the world to three Continents, and beyond that in oases of Holy Rus outside the Russian Lands, Russian Orthodox Christians this year celebrate. We celebrate the martyrdom of the last Christian Emperor and regret the fall of the Christian Empire after 1600 years. With Church services and conferences, monuments and museums, art galleries and films, it will be hard to forget the tragedy – except in the atheist West. Perhaps the lack of interest is due to being anti-Christian and so being Russophobic, since the essence of Russophobia is hatred for Christianity? After all, atheism is always negative, since it starts with a negation.

The so-called Russian Revolution was a coup similar to most other Western-engineered ‘regime changes’ before and since. Jacob Schiff, (1847-1920), the Wall Street banker who had financed Japan during the Japanese War against Russia (1904-1905), publicly boasted of his success in bringing about the coup, with the help of mainly aristocratic Russian traitors and apostates. Imperial Christian gold reserves weighed 1,311 tonnes: they went to the West and not to the people. In 1911 the St. Louis Dispatch had published a cartoon by Bolshevik insider Robert Minor. His published cartoon portrays Karl Marx with a book entitled Socialism under his arm, standing amid a cheering crowd on Wall Street.

Gathered around and greeting him with enthusiastic handshakes are characters identified as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, Morgan partner George W. Perkins and Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party. Western corporations moved in for the kill; Ford, General Electric, International Harvester, Caterpillar etc. Gulag slaves, whom Trotsky-Bronstein dubbed White Negroes, worked harder and cost less than those employed in the West. Over 1,000 Gulag camps were scattered across the bankster colony. The United States and Britain invested heavily in the blood-soaked Soviet regime.

The Romanov Dynasty was primarily made up of Europe’s royal houses. The blood of the martyrs was that of England, Denmark, Greece, Germany, Romania, Serbia and the Habsburgs, as well as that of Russia. The martyred Romanovs could lay claim to being of the essence of Europe’s royal houses, not so much a Russian as a European dynasty. There were 53 Romanovs living in Russia when Tsar Nicholas II was removed from his throne on 15 March 1917. Eighteen of them were slaughtered in heart-wrenching circumstances. 100 years on we now await the coming Tsar, the next Christian Emperor from the Romanov family, who alone can through Christ restore sanity in this world gone mad.

 

Tsar Nicholas II and the Ukraine

On Saturday 19th May the Orthodox Community of the Royal Martyrs in Ashford, Kent, like many others all over the world, commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Tsar Nicholas II. Soon we shall be on pilgrimage in Ekaterinburg to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his martyrdom and that of his Family and Servants, following which the world went insane.

All this comes against the background of the temptation which the Patriarchate of Constantinople is now undergoing: to appoint a new Metropolitan of Kiev and grant his Metropolia autocephaly, as they already in part did in Estonia. By thus invading the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church yet again, the Patriarchate of Constantinople will fall away from communion with the Orthodox Church. Bribed by US dollars, this schismatic activity will be a fatal mistake for it. It will be supported by few; the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Polish Orthodox Church have already raised their voices against its intended schism. Others will follow.

Tsar Nicholas II and his Family were taken out of this world because this world was unworthy of him. They now pray for the restitution and resurrection of Orthodox Russia and of the whole Orthodox world against such petty nationalism of schismatics in Constantinople, the Ukraine and elsewhere. The multinational Russian Orthodox Church, of over 70 different nationalities, prays to them for restoration. We pray that the ageing authorities in Istanbul may yet step back from the brink of their insanity before it is too late.

Russian Orthodoxy in South Africa

Summary. In this article the author, Dr Vladimir de Beer, depicts the establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church in South Africa. It is preceded by a sketch of the historical background, including the participation of Russian volunteers in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Recognition for their sacrifice in the service of Boer independence came more than a century later with the dedication of a new chapel on the premises of the Russian Orthodox Church in Midrand.

Key words: South Africa; Afrikaners; Boers; Anglo-Boer War; Russian volunteers; Russian Orthodox

Historical background

The Christian religion (albeit in its Protestant form) was brought to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch, German and French settlers who arrived at the southern tip of Africa from 1652 onwards. This new Dutch-ruled colony was established to provide a replenishment station for cargo ships and other vessels sailing between Western Europe and South-east Asia. In this way the future city of Cape Town, the Afrikaner people and the Afrikaans language gradually came into being. Among these early European settlers there was a Moscow-born Russian named Johannes Swellengrebel, whose son Hendrik in 1739 became the first Cape-born governor of the new colony [7]. Towards the end of the Dutch colonial era in South, Africa, in 1798, a Russian cellist named Gerasim Lebedev gave a number of well-attended concerts in Cape Town before returning to St Petersburg [2, pp 11-12].

In 1806 the Cape colony was annexed by Britain during its wars against Napoleonic France. Among notable Russians whose accounts of their visits to the Cape during its early British-ruled era became popular were the naval officer Vassili Golovnin, the novelist Ivan Goncharov and the artist Alexei Vysheslavtsov [2, pp 13-16]. However, the most famous Russian to visit the Cape colony during the nineteenth century was Grand Duke Alexei, son of Tsar Alexander II. His first visit occurred in 1872 when the Cape parliament formally welcomed the Russian dignitary, and the second visit took place in 1874 as commander of the frigate Svetlana. Moreover, in 1886 a remarkable letter was sent by the Pondo1 chief

1     A Xhosa tribe living in the Eastern Cape.

Faku to Tsar Alexander III, requesting Russian protection against the British annexation of his land [2, pp 18-20].

Many of the Afrikaners were not content to live under British rule, and therefore during the 1830’s several thousand men, women and children migrated in ox wagons northwards across the Orange and Vaal Rivers. This Great Trek, as it came to be known, gave rise to the establishment of the Boer republics of the Orange Free State, the Transvaal and Natal, although the latter was swiftly annexed by the British. The Transvaal and Free State republics, in contrast, had their independence recognised by the British government in 1852 and 1854 respectively. However, this peaceful situation only lasted until the discovery of the world’s richest gold-bearing strata in the southern Transvaal in 1886. This development brought substantial wealth and growing international recognition to the Transvaal, which was officially known as the South African Republic. Given the global ambitions of the imperialist rulers in London, as well as the influential diamond magnate Cecil John Rhodes’ vision of a British-ruled Africa stretching from Cape Town to Cairo, it was only a matter of time before the Transvaal became their next victim. The resultant escalating tensions between the British and the fiercely independent Boers (as the northern Afrikaners were called, the word meaning ‘farmers’ in Dutch and Afrikaans) eventually led to the outbreak of war in October 1899, in which the Transvaal and the Free State (with a combined Boer population of less than a million) were allied against the might of the British Empire.

In the ensuing three years of conflict the Boer farmers-turned-soldiers astonished the world by their military prowess in the face of overwhelming odds, facing around half a million well-trained soldiers from the British Isles, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) eventually became Britain’s longest and costliest war in the century between the Napoleonic Wars and World War One, prompting the well-known author Rudyard Kipling to declare that the Boers had taught the British ‘no end of a lesson’. The Boer republics enjoyed the sympathy of many European nations, including Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Russia [3, p 46]. Although none of these countries dared to openly provide military assistance to the Boers, thousands of volunteers risked life and limb travelling to the South African fields in order to fight on the Boer side. A notable contingent came from Ireland, which at that time was under British rule, and consequently the Irish pro-Boer volunteers were viewed as traitors by the British and treated accordingly when captured. It is with this groundswell of support for the Boer cause in Europe that Russian Orthodoxy made its entry into South Africa.

Enter the Russians

The Boer republics enjoyed the moral support of Tsar Nicholas II (later to be venerated as St Nicholas the Royal Martyr) and of the celebrated author Leo Tolstoy. Confiding in his sister Xenia, the Tsar wrote “I am wholly preoccupied with the war between England and the Transvaal; every day I read the news in the English newspapers from the first to the last line, and then share my impressions with the others at the table… I can not conceal my joy at the confirmation of yesterday’s news that during General White’s sally two full English battalions and a mountain battery have been captured by the Boers!” In a similar vein Tolstoy admitted, during the early months of the war when the British suffered a series of humiliating defeats by the Boer forces, that even as a well-known pacifist he rejoiced at the victories of the Boers [2, pp 26-27].

Around 225 Russian volunteers came to South Africa to assist the Boers in their freedom struggle against the mightiest empire up to that point in recorded history [1, p 45]. Their number included a unit of Scouts containing many Cossacks, such as Prince Bagration of Tiflis and Count Alexis de Ganetzky [3, p 47]. There was also a Russian-Dutch ambulance service active in the Transvaal and the Free State during the war, as well as medical staff from the Russian Red Cross [2, pp 27-28]. Such was the Russian enthusiasm for the Boer republics that a folk song ‘Transvaal, Transvaal, my country’ became quite popular throughout Russia in the early years of the twentieth century. It was still being sung at the time of the Great Patriotic War, while famous Soviet writers such as Anna Akhmatova and Ilya Ehrenburg also paid tribute to the Boers [2, pp 25, 29].

Among the Russian volunteers who fought in the Boer armies, the most famous was Colonel Evgeny Maximov, who initially served as second-in-command of the International Corps [3, p 47]. Renowned among the Boers as an excellent shot and horse-rider, Maximov was also an adviser to the Boer presidents Kruger and Steyn [2, pp 68, 73]. He was eventually appointed commander of the Dutch Corps, in which capacity he was severely injured during the battle of Thaba Nchu on 30 April 1900. A month later he left the Transvaal (as did the afore-mentioned ambulance service) when the conventional phase of the war came to end with the British capture of Pretoria [2, pp 77, 81]. To the chagrin of the British, this was followed by two years of highly effective guerilla warfare by the Boer commandos (to which Winston Churchill would later pay tribute when he designated the British special forces during World War Two as commandos). The British military responded by destroying more than 90 percent of the farms in the Boer republics, as well as herding most of their women and children into concentration camps erected on the open field, where around 30 000 were to die from malnutrition and disease. Prompted by these devastating losses of their families and farms while remaining undefeated in the field, the Boer leaders signed the Treaty of Vereeniging with the British in Pretoria on 31 May 1902, thereby ending the war and bringing the former republics into the Empire.

Another prominent Russian volunteer in South Africa was Lieutenant Yevgeny Augustov, whose memoirs of the war were published in Russia in 1902 [2, pp 24-25, 30-33]. With some of his countrymen he had fought in the Battle of Spioenkop in January 1900 (which was vividly described by Augustov), during which the British suffered one of the worst defeats of their imperial history. Captain Leo Pokrovsky was killed while leading a commando raid on the British garrison at Utrecht in December 1900, later receiving a memorial plaque in that Natal town in 1938. Captain Alexander Shulzhenko fought in the commando of the legendary Boer leader General De Wet, until he was captured by the British in April 1901 [1, pp 42-43]. Alexander Guchkov was wounded in July 1900 and remained paralysed for the rest of his life. However, this setback did not prevent him from later becoming chairman of the Russian Duma and eventually War Minister in the Provisional Government, following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II [1, p 64]. Another volunteer, Vladimir Semionov, designed the opera and ballet theatre in Yekaterinoslav shortly after the war, and had by the 1930’s become a prominent architect and academic in Moscow [1, pp 57-58]. Remarkably, even some opponents of the Tsarist government volunteered for military service with the Boers. Among them were Ivan Zabolotny, a member of the first State Duma in 1905; Alexander Essen, who became a leading Soviet economist in the 1920’s; and Prince Mikhail Yengalychev, who in 1907 attempted to form a republican organisation in Russia [1, pp 65-67].

It is interesting to note that when Russia sent its Baltic fleet around Africa towards the end of 1904 in order to fight the Japanese with whom they were at war, the British government issued strict orders that no Russian ships would be allowed to enter British-controlled ports anywhere in the world, which at the time included the South African ports. This armada included the cruiser Aurora, which would later become legendary for signalling the start of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. Tragically, most of the Russian sailors in the armada sailing past the Cape of Good Hope never returned to their homes, having died in the disastrous naval battle of Tsushima in 1905 [2, pp 30-31].

During the first two decades of the twentieth century a variety of economic, cultural and academic ties were developing between Russia and South Africa. The economic link was centred on the mining industry, which is not surprising given the abundance of minerals found in both countries. In addition, the years before the outbreak of the First World War saw both the Transvaal and the Cape province import timber, textiles and railway rails from Russia. The academic link, overlapping with agriculture, included co-operation in locust control and irrigation. And in the cultural sphere the novels of the South African author Olive Schreiner became highly popular in Russia from the 1890’s onward, being published in most of the Russian popular magazines and literary journals. One of her publishers was Maxim Gorky, who like many Russians found resonance with Schreiner’s socialist views [2).

  • 37-38]. A later famous Afrikaans author, Louis Leipoldt, visited Moscow in 1908 and was enamoured by the architectural splendour and colourful crowds of the Russian capital, which he vividly described in his letters to a friend. As a young physician Leipoldt was equally impressed by the high level of the Russian medical services, which he considered to be superior to that of Britain at the time. His only complaint was the exorbitant prices in Moscow [2, pp 32-33].

However, by the early 1920’s relations between the newly formed Soviet Union and South Africa practically came to an end, as was the case with all of the British dominions [2, p 38]. Although the two countries were Allies during the Second World War, Soviet-South Africans relations deteriorated further during the second half of the century. The South African Communist Party (SACP) was declared illegal by the Afrikaner nationalist government in 1950 and then formed a strategic alliance with the African National Congress (ANC), which continues to this day. Moreover, from the early 1960s until the late 1980s the Soviet Union actively supported the black guerilla movements fighting white rule in South Africa, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South-west Africa (now Namibia). The Soviets and South Africans also clashed in Angola during the period 1975 to 1988, backing the Moscow-aligned MPLA government and the pro-Western rebel movement UNITA, respectively.2 However, with the transfer of power from the Afrikaner nationalists to the ANC in 1994, the SACP became an integral component of the new South African government. This surely has to count as one of the greatest ironies of recent history, since by that time the Communist era in Russia had already ended.

Russian Orthodoxy is established

Only in the 1990’s would diplomatic, economic and cultural relations be restored between the post-Soviet Russian Federation and post-apartheid South Africa. An office of the South African diamond mining giant, De Beers, was opened in Russia in 1992 [2, p 34]. Another beneficiary of the renewed links between Russia and South Africa was the Russian Orthodox Church, which founded a parish in Midrand (situated halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria) in 1998. Named after St Sergius of Radonezh, this became the first Russian Orthodox parish in sub-Saharan Africa. The first rector of the new parish was Father Sergius Rasskazovsky, who was also a professor at the St Petersburg Theological Academy.3 Under a new rector, Father Philaret Bulekov, a church began to be built for the parish towards the end of 2001. Funded by the Russian engineering construction company Stroytransgaz and supported by the Russian embassy in South Africa, the newly built church was consecrated early in 2003 by Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk, who later became the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’ [6]. With beautiful golden domes placed atop the building in 2004, the Russian Orthodox Church of St Sergius of Radonezh makes a striking appearance not far from the N1 motorway between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

The Russian volunteers who had fought and died in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century finally received recognition from the Church that most of them were

  • The most comprehensive accounts of this protracted yet neglected conflict from a South African viewpoint are the following books: South Africa’s Border War 1966-89, by Willem Steenkamp; and The South African Defence Forces in the Border War 1966-1989, by Leopold Scholtz.
  • This author had the privilege of receiving his first Communion as Orthodox Christian from Father Sergius in 1999.

members of in 2013, when a chapel commemorating them was built on the premises of the Midrand church [4 & 5]. The new chapel is dedicated to St Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, thus affirming a significant link between Russian Orthodoxy and the South African population, particularly the Afrikaners. The current rector of the Russian Orthodox parish of St Sergius of Radonezh in Midrand is Father Daniel Lugovoy, who also travels to Cape Town periodically to serve the Slavonic liturgy in a newly built chapel there. In addition to services every weekend and on major feast days, the parish conducts an active Sunday school for children and an Orthodox study group for adults. It also has a well-stocked library with over a thousand titles in Russian and English [6]. May God grant the Russian Orthodox Church in South Africa many years!

Bibliography

  1. Apollon Davidson & Irina Filatova. The Russians and the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. Cape Town, Pretoria & Johannesburg: Human & Rousseau, 1998.
  2. Apollon Davidson. Russia and South Africa before the Soviet era. National Research University Higher School of Economics, 2013. hse.ru/data/2013/04/18/1297820237/21HUM2013.pdf
  3. Donal Lowry. ‘When the World loved the Boers’, in History Today, 43-49, May 1999.
  4. Andrew Phillips. ‘Orthodox who Fought for Freedom in the Boer War Commemorated.’ (17 April 2013). http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/orthodox-who-fought-for-freedom-in-the-boer-war-commemorated/
  5. ru: ‘Foundation laid for a new chapel in Johannesburg’ (15 April 2013). http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/60855.htm
  6. Russian Orthodox Church of St Sergius of Radonezh: http://www.st-sergius.info/en/our-church
  7. Wikipedia: Hendrik Swellengrebel. https://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrik_Swellengrebel

Dr. Vladimir de Beer

Email: vladimir.debeer@gmail.com

Bristol, England

30 November 2016

Ashford, Kent: A New Community is Born

With the two parishes in Colchester and Norwich, both with weekly services and served by three priests, communities in Bury St Edmunds and Wisbech and hopes for new communities elsewhere, the presence of the Church Outside Russia in the eastern half of England has much increased since the episcopal changes and long-awaited ordinations after January 2017. With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irenei, now a new community has been launched for the many Orthodox in Kent, whom we have been visiting for years, giving communion and baptising in people’s houses for lack of a church.

The new community is using a former farmhouse, now St Christopher’s Church, opposite the village green in Boughton Lees on the edge of Ashford (TN25 4HP – parking is in Lees Road, opposite the church, which has all facilities). Ashford is in a central position, with excellent national and international transport links, near Canterbury, Faversham, Maidstone, Rochester, Gillingham, Dover, Folkestone and Hastings. The community is dedicated to the Royal Martyrs, significant because the church is on the edge of Eastwell Manor, with its connections with the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna Romanova and her daughter, the future Queen Maria of Romania, who was born there in 1875.

This is even more significant because the community is being founded on the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Russian Orthodox Royal Family. The church was first visited on 15th March, the feast of the Sovereign Icon of the Mother of God, which miraculously appeared after Tsar Nicholas was overthrown by treasonous aristocrats and apostate generals in 1917. The first liturgy took place on Saturday 21 April, the next will be on Saturday 19 May, the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas.

On Saturday 21 April, the five visits of the martyred Tsar to England were mentioned, including his visit to Gravesend in Kent. As the liturgy ended, a cricket match began on the green outside the church and the sounds of Orthodox singing were replaced by the sound of cricket ball against willow. We await the Orthodox of Kent at our next service.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…

Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites!…All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them who are sent to thee, how often I wanted to gather thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you did not want it!

Matthew 23, 29, 36 and 37

Just as he had promised before he was elected, President Trump has now recognized occupied Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State. His Modern Orthodox Jewish son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, and now Jewish daughter, Ivanka, are pleased. The rest of the world is in consternation and in the Arab world violence can be expected. Let us not forget that in Jerusalem in November 2016 the revived Sanhedrin sent President Trump and President Putin a petition about the restoration of the Third Temple. The Sanhedrin press spokesman, Rabbi Gideon Weiss, said at the time that the election of Mr Trump had made the dream of restoring the Temple a reality. He added that ‘the American and Russian leaders could lead the peoples of ‘the global world’ to peace by building the Temple’.

Meanwhile, in the centre of ‘the Christian world’, a Council of nearly 400 Orthodox patriarchs and bishops in the main ‘Temple’ of Moscow, attended by all the Local Orthodox Churches except for Constantinople and Greece who refused to attend (more Local Churches than attended the so-called ‘Council of Crete’ in 2016), has just concluded. The Council was addressed by President Putin, the first time in over 300 years that a Patriarchal Council has been addressed by a Russian leader. The President then met the leaders of the Local Churches, like a new Constantine, the first Christian Emperor. President Putin appears as the protector of the whole Orthodox world, and has just won back Syria through defeating terrorism there and co-operating closely with the regional powers, Turkey and Iran.

After the Moscow Council, which commemorated the centenary of the restoration of the Russian Patriarchate, so much worked for by Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky), and so gathered the Orthodox children together, Patriarch Theophil (the name means ‘friend of God’) of Jerusalem is today visiting the city of Ekaterinburg. Today is St Catherine’s day and the name of the city means ‘Catherine’s fortress’. It is also of course the place of martyrdom of the last Christian Emperor, Nicholas II. Meanwhile, in Moscow, the prominent ‘friend of God’ and pious Orthodox layman, Konstantin Malofeev, has stated that just as 100 years ago those who sought the restoration of the Patriarchate to resist the coming atheist onslaught were victorious, so we too ‘must convince contemporary Russian society that if Russia is to remain a sovereign country, the restoration of Tsardom is just as indispensible’.

He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

 

The War We Wage for our Christian Empire of Holy Rus

On the centenary of the 1917 Western-organized coup d’etat which overthrew the Christian Empire of the Third Rome and led to the martyrdom of the Imperial Family and millions of others, attempts by our enemies to create divisions in contemporary Russian Church and Society have intensified. These enemies are financed from abroad; they are programmed to destroy both the Russian Federation and its foundation, the Church. The war is being fought openly, militarily and bloodily, in Syria, in the Ukraine and in parts of the Caucasus, but it is also going on ideologically in Russia and throughout the Russian Orthodox Church worldwide, by manipulating those who are on the fringes of the Church.

The aim of these enemies is to destroy all that remains of Holy Rus, the Third Rome. These enemies are Westernized liberals, pseudo-intellectuals (‘intelligenty’) the self-appointed Russian ‘social elite’ (in fact the decadent scrapings from the bottom of the barrel) such as Nemtsov, Radzinsky, Uchitel and their followers like ‘Pussy Riot’. This is a repeat of the situation just before 1917. Tired of attacking the Russian liberation of Syria from Western-backed terrorists and Russian support for freedom in the Ukraine from the violent persecutions of the US-installed Zionist Kiev junta, they are now trying through their media, ‘creative’ (= destructive) art and cinema to sully the image of the Tsar Martyr Nicholas.

They accuse us Orthodox faithful of worshipping the Tsar as God! In reality, no such ‘Tsar-worshippers’ exist. They make use of the marginal half-hearted and Halfodox intellectuals among the clergy, in the Spiritual Academies and seminaries and among the unChurched though baptised masses. These enemies deny the ritual killing of the Imperial Family in 1918, they deny reality. In the same way they also rejoice at the present final destruction of the fragments of the old Orthodoxy in Western Europe, and instead promote atheism, transgenderism, a ‘post-Christian’ Europe, where the masses have lost all faith and former churches have become mosques, shopping centres, casinos and nightclubs.

Our enemies make use of deluded liberals and Russophobes like Fr George Kochetkov, Fr George Mitrofanov and their handful of followers, who are given prominence by the anti-Church media in their foreign-owned, anti-Putin newspapers like Moskovskoe Ekho and Moskovskij Komsomolets, on their notorious Western-financed portal-credo website and their TV and radio stations. These are the heirs of the clerical traitors who welcomed the February 1917 palace revolution and the abduction and imprisonment of the Tsar and his family, the ‘revolutionaries in cassocks’. They accuse the Tsar of all the misfortunes that befell Russia over the last 100 years, denying that such as they are in fact to blame.

However, there are also young (and not so young) hotheads, with ‘zeal not according to knowledge’, filled with absurd conspiracy theories. Like old calendarist sectarians, which in fact they are, they refuse to commemorate Church hierarchs and berate them. They are supported by those who suffer from the nationalist delusion that Tsar Ivan IV, through whom Metropolitan Philip of Moscow was martyred, was a saint or, even more absurdly, that the apostate antichrist Stalin was such. Bitterness and sarcasm, expressing no love or sympathy, and isolationism mark their lives. Many of them are under the influence of Protestant Creationism, which is ironic, given that they are claim to be anti-Protestant.

The main complaint of the zealots is that they do not agree with certain words and actions of a non-dogmatic, i. e. non-essential, nature of Patriarch Kyrill. This is illogical. Firstly, the concept that the Patriarch must agree with them in everything is pure pride. Why this disagreement? Perhaps because they are right, but more probably because they are wrong. This intolerance denies the simple fact that in any case there is no reason why we have to agree with our Patriarch on every detail. There will never be any identity of opinion between any two people. In this obsession with opinions we find once again pure Protestantism. They disagree, so they protest and go and start their own sect, condemning all others.

The Church does not depend on us or on any Patriarch, whoever he may be; we are all here today, gone tomorrow. The Church belongs to God and She was here long before us and will be here long after us. In order to justify themselves, the zealots dogmatize everything. Thus, if you do not believe that God created the Universe in six 24-hour periods (like fundamentalist Protestants), you are a heretic. If a baby is not baptised exactly on the fortieth day of its life, you are a heretic. If you shake hands with a Roman Catholic (again this is Protestantism!), you are a heretic. There is no end to the anti-logic of the zealots. They have hot heads, but cold hearts, what they need is just the opposite.

Outside such marginal extremists, the Orthodox are led by hierarchs like Metr Benjamin of Vladivostok, Metr Agafangel of Odessa, Metr Vincent of Tashkent, Metr George of Nizhny Novgorod, Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), any of whom could become the next Patriarch. Then there is the laywoman, Natalya Poklonskaya, the much admired deputy of the Russian Parliament and heroine of the Crimea. We see that Russia is today the last bastion of the Church of God and so of Christianity in the world. Our war is against those who have destroyed the Church in the West over the last thousand years and are now trying to destroy the Church in the Middle East, in the ‘soft’ Balkans and even in parts of the Ukraine.

The enemies of our Church want schisms, manipulating those on the margins, whether they are naïve and unthinking zealots, or treacherous and Russophobic ecumenist liberals. We must understand that either we are with the Tsar, that is, with all the New Martyrs and Confessors, all the multinational host of saints of the Russian Church, with the holy elders and the Christian Empire of Holy Rus, or else we are, consciously or unconsciously, traitors and helping the enemies of our Church. In accordance with the prophecies, we believe that the war waged by our enemies against the Church of God and Russia will, if there is repentance, end with the rebirth of the multinational Empire of Holy Rus. Amen.