I belong to the generation of those outside Russia who grew up when the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia was captive to the militant atheist regime there. Her voice inside the then Soviet Union was silenced and we soon discovered that her few dependent representatives outside Russia were severely compromised in many respects. We then discovered that other fragments of the Russian emigration had abandoned the Church, unpatriotically and even treacherously never intending to return to her, going the way of the world. Only the majority part of the Church remained outside Russia, in her essence faithful, despite some fringes. This was the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), providentially founded by His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon in 1920. Then we thought it possible that the Church inside Russia might never recover and that only the Church Outside Russia would ever be free to speak on behalf of the whole Church – which is what we did.
However, in 1991 the old atheism in the Soviet Union finally collapsed. Unfortunately, it brought chaos in its train, as in the 1990s ex-Communist Westernisers, many of them Non-Russians, overnight switched to being Capitalist Westernisers, becoming oligarchs. Thus for a time they defeated patriotic forces, betraying the heritage of the former Russian Empire to the new Western atheism. As that tragic period came to an end, in the year 2000 a miracle happened. Building on the mass baptisms of the decade before, the Church inside Russia spoke freely, canonising its martyrs and confessors. From 2000 on it became obvious that the two patriotic parts of the Church, inside Russia and outside Russia, would draw together and become one once more, their voices merging in a choir. Today, the faithful remnants of Western peoples, who have been entirely abandoned by their governments to atheism, are beginning to look to the reunited Russian Orthodox Church for answers to their questions.
First of all, the reunited Russian Orthodox Church has the view of humanity as spiritual beings, beings with a spiritual destiny, free children of eternity with immortal souls, not slaves of death and determinism and of contemporary fashions and passions. Secondly, therefore, our society is based on spiritual and moral values and its purpose is to transfigure humanity positively. It encourages in humanity spiritual freedom, freedom from fashions and passions, and does not bring it down to the bestial level of animals, as does the apostatic West. Thirdly, and finally, the Orthodox Christian State therefore exists in order to raise humanity up through providing the means to both physical and spiritual life. This means encouraging traditional values, specifically those of Orthodox Christian culture. Such culture is universal in its spirit and meaning, for it is the fruit of a Church whose emblem is the double-headed eagle, uniting and not dividing East and West, Asia and Europe.
Today, specifically, we should not forget that this same Orthodox Christian culture was at the birth of Europe nearly two thousand years ago, but not at the birth of modern European culture. That culture in fact is not European at all, but anti-European, because it is anti-Christian, having rejected Christian civilisation. Indeed, Orthodox Christian culture is infinitely more European than present-day post-modern European culture. As a true European, St Nicholas of Zhicha, wrote generations ago, the real Europe was created by Christ, Who pulled it up out of the darkness of paganism and barbarism, giving it the ability to create new Christian civilisation and culture. But this is precisely what contemporary Western Europe has for exactly one hundred years rejected, spat on, murdered in its trenches, burned in its crematoria and buried. Today, through Russia, Europe has the unique and also last chance to return to its Christian roots, to the Age of the Saints, to the culture of Christ.
In other words, Western Europe now has the opportunity to follow the Russian Orthodox Church or else, as its elite is now doing in the Ukraine and in Russia, to spit on it in contempt. Only when brainwashed Western people understand the big picture, what they have been deprived of for 1,000 years, will they regain Orthodox Christian culture and so meaning to their lives and a consistent and logical world view. Inside Russia, and outside Russia in our regional, multinational Russian Orthodox churches, we offer the understanding of Incarnate Christianity as an Empire of the Spirit, genuine Orthodox Christianity, the Sovereignty of the Spirit. The time has come for the West, and the Westernised, to choose between the pseudo-culture of globalism, which is no culture at all, as it perverts and destroys the meaning of human life. Recivilisation through uncorrupted Orthodox Christianity or spiritual and physical suicide. This is the choice for the Western world.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips,
East of England Orthodox Church