Orthodox resurgence

Civil religion in Russia
Immediately after his inauguration as president of the Russian Federation in May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev proceeded to a Kremlin church, where Patriarch Aleksy II blessed him and gave him an icon of the Vladimir Mother of God, to which Russians over the centuries have turned for national protection. Medvedev, along with former president Vladimir Putin, was again present when Metropolitan Kirill was enthroned as the new patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 1.

In light of such events, some Russian Orthodox anticipate a return to the ancient conception of a “symphony” between church and state in Russia: the church infuses the state and society with spiritual values, while the state protects the church. Critics of the church, however, charge that the church is simply returning to its historic role of being aligned with the state in return for social and political privilege.


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