Mr James Jatras has a great article uncovering this:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” So Karl Marx wrote in 1843. For three generations over the course of the 20th century his atheist disciples violently sought to break their subjects of this “opium” addiction.
They failed. In many though not all parts of the former communist bloc Christianity not only survived but provided the impetus for national and social revival. In some countries, like Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, this meant Roman Catholicism. In others, like Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and Georgia, this means Orthodoxy.
For the no-less-godless successors of the commissars now ruling most of Europe through the twin bureaucracies of NATO and the European Union, religion – or at least Christianity – remains a retrograde force that needs to be overcome. They are helped by the fact that in western Europe (and increasingly in the United States) consumerism, feminism, LGBT, multiculturalism, and other materialistic post-modern alternatives have proved to be far more corrosive of Christianity than dynamite, bullets, concentration camps, and punitive psychiatric hospitals.
There is also a geopolitical element. Because NATO/EU’s biggest target is Russia, and because revival of the Orthodox Church is central to Russia’s revival – including its military determination to resist western aggression as it has so many times in the past from Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, etc. – the Orthodox Church is itself in the crosshairs. From the soulless perspective of western bureaucrats Orthodox Christianity is nothing more than an instrument of the Kremlin’s soft power. According to one person rather new to the relevant issues but nonetheless considered authoritative by the State Department:
‘The Church, for its part, acts as the Russian state’s soft power arm, exerting its authority in ways that assist the Kremlin in spreading Russian influence both in Russia’s immediate neighborhood as well as around the globe. The Kremlin assists the Church, as well, working to increase its reach. Vladimir Yakunin, one of Putin’s inner circle and a devout member of the ROC, facilitated in 2007 the reconciliation of the ROC with the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile (which had separated itself from the Moscow Patriarchate early in the Soviet era so as not to be co-opted by the new Bolshevik state), which reconciliation greatly increased [Patriarch of Moscow] Kirill’s influence and authority outside of Russia. Putin, praising this event, noted the interrelation of the growth of ROC authority abroad with his own international goals: “The revival of the church unity is a crucial condition for revival of lost unity of the whole ‘Russian world’, which has always had the Orthodox faith as one of its foundations.”’
Thus the 250-million-plus-member Orthodox Church needs to be brought to heel, or better yet, broken. Over the past few years we have seen several episodes pointing to that end:
· Removal of Bishop Artemije of Raška and Prizren, the Serbian Orthodox eparchy that includes the NATO-occupied province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 2010 Vladika Artemije, an outspoken opponent of ecumenism, was accused on spurious corruption charges for which he’s never been brought to trial, expelled from his eparchy without an ecclesiastical trial, and later reduced to the status of a simple monk. (He insists that he is the true Bishop of the Raško-Prizrenska Eparchy in Exile, leading to his being falsely being accused of schism.)
The real reasons for this were transparently political. Vladika Artemije was punished for his forthright opposition to US, NATO, and EU policy in Kosovo and his spearheading a Washington lobbying effort to oppose creation of that terrorist-mafia pseudo-state (and hotbed of Islamic jihad) under NATO protection. In addition, he sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and in 2009 sought to bar a visit by then-US Vice President and current 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden (a belligerent proponent of war against Serbs in Bosnia and Kosovo and of detaching Kosovo from Serbia, not to mention a Ukraine profiteer via his son Hunter Biden) from visiting Visoki Dečani monastery – a decision overturned by the Serbian Church at the behest of the Serbian government, then headed by western quisling Boris Tadic. The Biden snub reportedly prompted a high NATO official (probably US Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples) to demand: “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” The soon got it, with the shameful submission of the Serbian Church under pressure from Washington, Brussels, and Belgrade officialdom. (As noted below, the Serbian Church leadership’s betrayal of Vladika Artemije has now come back to haunt them in Montenegro.)
· The Ukrainian Orthodox Church schism. A year ago His All-Holiness, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, recognized as a new “autocephalous” (entirely self-ruling) “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (“OCU”) persons who had up until then been universally shunned as schismatics and frauds by all Orthodox jurisdictions. Since then Constantinople, with the overt help of the US State Department and the Greek government, has been able to round up a few additional endorsements, notably from the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa and the Archbishop of Athens (both dependent on Greek state subsidies) but pointedly rejected by many of the bishops, clergy, and faithful in the African and Greek jurisdictions. A number of Churches, notably Antioch and Serbia, have been outspokenly supportive of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which remains an autonomous part of the Russia Orthodox Church.
US officials who wouldn’t know Orthodoxy from orthodontia have taken a keen interest in the Church’s internal canonical arrangements, insisting that creation of the bogus “OCU” is an exercise in human rights and “religious freedom,” despite violence against clergy and believers of the canonical Church and plans to seize churches and monasteries. Among the outspoken supporters of the OCU are celebrated theologians like US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (who placed a personal call to the “newly elected head of the “OCU” “Metropolitan Epifaniy” (Dumenko), Geoffrey Pyatt (current US Ambassador to Greece, who was also Ambassador to Ukraine during the 2014 regime change operation), Sam Brownback (US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom), and – recognizable to many Americans from their impeachment testimony – US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and US Ambassador in Kiev Marie Yovanovitch (noted for her over-the-top LGBT promotion in Ukraine). Pyatt and Brownback are notable for their round-robin visits to Orthodox Church leaders, notably in the Balkans, to “encourage” their recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics.
. . .
The whole article is at http://www.monomakhos.com/how-the-u-s-state-department-is-breaking-the-back-of-the-orthodox-church/ (via the Orthodox England blog, http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/the-us-state-department-versus-christ/).
Remember, Southron: The above is what ‘religious freedom’ means when you hear those words used by Pres Trump, VP Pence, Mr Tony Perkins, or any of their ilk. Religion is nothing to them - it is simply another tool in the box to keep the world in thrall to Washington City, a forerunner of Antichrist.
May God protect His Church, the Orthodox Church, and may He bring all His enemies to repentance.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!