Russian renewal

The complex face of Orthodoxy

When he became president of Russia last year, Vladimir Putin disclosed that “when I was serving in the KGB in Germany, I always wore a cross under my shirt.” Whether or not one believes this astonishing claim, there is no doubt that Putin embraces the Russian Orthodox Church as a partner in his blueprint for a strong new Russia. On his first Easter Sunday in office he declared, “The widespread celebration of Easter is visible proof of the rebirth of the spiritual foundations of our society. I believe that together with the church we will achieve the spiritual revival of a strong, prospering Russia in the 21st century.”


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