Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Just In From Kiev


Among the pictures coming out of the protests in Kiev and other parts of the Ukraine, ones of Orthodox priests interposing themselves between the crowds and the riot police have gone slightly viral.
In light of a graduate seminar on secularism that I am about to head off to, it’s curious to see these pictures and ask whether they are evidence of how churches with ethnic linkages to particular countries and nationalities have deeper roots than may sometimes be assumed by those who assume that Europe’s trajectory is increasingly towards the secular.  it would be interesting to know how strong the Orthodox church is in the Ukraine, and whether it sees its role as neutral, popular, or allied with the regime, as it is sometimes accused of being in Russia.   I confess I know none of the answers to these questions, and also confess that I admire these men of faith, out in the chaos with their crosses and icons.   I hope they are a force for moderation and reconciliation, though the news from Ukraine seems to be getting steadily worse.

4 comments:

Edwin King said...

When I was in my final year at university we had a seminar on how religion might contribute to the fall of the Soviet Bloc - none of us expected that it would happen the following year!

Grenzer John said...

Slava tibi, Hospodi!

tradgardmastare said...

A powerful image indeed. Reminds me, for some reason, of a photograph I have seen of Mass being said (I think in London) in a bombed out church.Both iconic I think...

Kieran said...

The Ukrainian Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) is rather nationalist in nature, doesn't use Church Slavonic etc. Their allegiance depends on whoever is in power, I suspect during the Orange Revolution they supported Timoshenko and Yushchenko - and their subsequent administration of the Ukraine. I need to check that though. Of course the Moscow Patriarchate leans towards Russia and would arguably lean towards the administration if it was pro-Russian.

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.

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