As 2012 draws to a close and we enter 2013, we both look forwards and look backwards. 2013 is the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan and the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov. This will be followed by other years commemorating momentous centenaries: 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War; 2017, that of the Revolution, the immediate entry into that War of the USA, the British agreement to found the State of Israel and the Armenian genocide – all within a few months of each other; 2018, that of the martyrdom of the Russian Imperial Family and the end of the First World War; 2019, the Treaty of Versailles, whose injustices made the next German War inevitable.
We recall how with every generation, every 25 years since 1914, history has been patterned by momentous events. 1914, the First War and the European suicide; 1939, the second part of that suicide and the Western Slav and Jewish holocaust; 1964, the social revolution and the Western abortion holocaust; 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire, leaving only one Superpower, and all the consequences of this, good and bad, for Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Africa, Northern Ireland, the EU, China and the Muslim world. We wonder what the year 2014 may bring.
For the Russian Orthodox Church, the past 25 years have brought freedom, renaissance and unity. Over 80% of the multinational population of the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan is Orthodox. 164 million people confess the Russian Orthodox Faith, 75% of the total.
Although concentrated in one seventh of the world, the Russian Orthodox Faith is confessed by sixty-two nationalities, in Japan and China, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in Central Asia, and, via the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, throughout the whole world. This has meant that the thirteen other far smaller Local Orthodox Churches, many of which have suffered spiritually bruising and compromising Westernisation, are now inevitably looking to the Russian Orthodox Church for global Orthodox leadership in the globalised world.
However, there are also great problems.
Inside Russia, the Church has been subject to a year of persecution by renovationism. This renovationism has often been supported ideologically by the writings of various, at present fashionable, schismatic Russians from the emigration in France and the USA, who refused to remain faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church Tradition. However, that renovationism is only a front and has a much deeper political aspect.
Openly supported by the Western Powers, their intelligence agencies and their so-called ‘NGOs’, remaining Soviet-style atheists have wanted to destroy the Church, exploiting both vestiges of hopelessly old-fashioned Soviet ideology and fashionable anti-Christian Russophobic Western ideology, exploiting the naïve and the satanic. Steeped in the ideology of Russia’s anti-Russian wreckers, Gorbachov and Yeltsin, they are anxious that the Church is beginning to influence the Russian State for good, bringing it back to Christian values. Ths, they have wanted to slander the Patriarch, the clergy and Church teachings. Their devilish intentions have not succeeded.
The demographic problem also remains profound in all Orthodox countries, regardless of whether they are in the EU or outside it. Until the States concerned can provide decent and affordable conditions in which mothers can give birth to and bring up children, supported by responsible fathers and husbands, this demographic problem will deepen. ABC, Alcoholism, Abortion and Corruption, continue to ravage all the Orthodox countries: Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and the Russian Federation itself.
Internationally, there is the threat from the Muslim world. The Western-exploited political protests in Bosnia, Kosovo, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and especially the war in Syria could easily spill over. Syria is virtually a neighbour of Russia. The situation in the nearby Caucasus remains fragile. Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan, could easily be affected. Here the West is playing with fire, risking ‘blowback’ from its meddling.
Then there is the missionary challenge. China, soon to become the world’s greatest economic power, is on its way to becoming the largest Christian nation on earth. It must become Orthodox, overcoming the facile errors of the widespread semi-Christian Western schisms, which are all but dead in the spiritually bankrupt Western world itself. Since the apostatic West has little interest in the real words of Christ and His Orthodox Church, let the East take up the yoke that is light.
The solution to economic and demographic problems and missionary challenges is to restore the Orthodox Christian Commonwealth, Romaiosini, Holy Rus. The embryonic Eurasian Union, set to overtake by far the stagnant and bankrupt EU, is the starting point for this. We would expect Orthodox countries, which have fallen into the EU temptation, partly because of the Russophobic reaction to the oppression of the old Soviet Empire, to withdraw from the German-run EU Europe or be ejected from it in the coming years.
A new generation of unprejudiced politicians in those countries will judge if today’s Russian Federation is deSovietised and can therefore be trusted. Their countries will need the support of the new Eurasian Union – the Russian Federation, Kazkhstan and Belarus. This Union could spread its protective influence into Eastern Europe (to the Ukraine, the Baltic States, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bosnia in particular) and the Middle East, where Orthodox minorities live.
There are many temptations, many failings, many weaknesses and many attacks on the Church to come. The Orthodox Faith has to be preached worldwide before the end – and we have only just started. All the great days and the great challenges are before us. We are only setting out on a long and huge road. The real revolution, the spiritual one, is yet to come. May the grace of God guide us.
30 November /12 December 2012
Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called