Monday, 22 September 2014

Putin: Defender of Christian Faith and Morality?

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[Putin] has restored the state. And Russian patriotism.... Little by little, he has become the leader of world opposition to the new ideological order dominated by the West [and characterised by] antiracism, globalism, homophilia, feminism, Islamophilia and Christianophobia.... He defends national sovereignty, family and the Orthodox religion.

— French intellectual Eric Zemmour, writing in Figaro magazine

Vladimir Putin Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize: Putin took over as President of Russia in 2000 when the country was in an economic mess. Putin has brought economic prosperity.... Putin put the crooked Jewish billionaires in prison and supported the Christian churches against the gays. He kept America out of war in Syria and Iran. Putin is aggressively combating the financial shenanigans of the New World Order.

— Texe Marrs, author, founder of Power of Prophecy Ministry

Putin has long been a supporter of Christianity and Christian values within Russia. He has called for the Church to play a larger role in citizens’ social lives, better religion classes in schools, and television programs emphasizing religious values.

— From an article entitled “Vladimir Putin Vows to Defend Christianity Worldwide,” in the Christian Post

 

The world has indeed been turned upside down. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, a career apparatchik in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and a loyal agent of the Soviet secret police, the KGB (and head of its successor, the FSB), now not only proclaims himself to be a Christian, but has donned the mantle of global protector of Christianity and morality — to the rejoicing huzzahs of many Christians and conservatives in the West.

However, before bestowing Defender of the Faith accolades on Vladimir the Pious, we would do well to look carefully behind and beneath the highly contrived Christian image being spun by the Kremlin’s public relations department and gullible Christians with short memories in the West.

Sadly, the quotations noted are not unique, nor restricted to wild outliers.

Former GOP presidential candidate and author/commentator Patrick J. “Pat” Buchanan is a paleoconservative who seems to be enthralled with the “former” KGB chief. “In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity,” Buchanan wrote, in one of his many pro-Putin syndicated columns.

The Buchanan column just quoted is entitled “Whose Side Is God on Now?,” not too subtly implying that Putin and his Kremlin comrades are now Heaven’s standard bearers against the decadent, post-Christian West.

Well, it is true, is it not, that President Vladimir Putin stands virtually alone among national leaders of the major powers in publicly proclaiming his Christian identity, and in condemning homosexual “marriage” — while leaders of the so-called Christian West have adopted the politically correct line that these unnatural unions are now sacrosanct? And is it not true that Putin and the Russian government have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild hundreds of Russian Orthodox churches destroyed during the militant atheism of the Soviet era? Has he not restored sacred holidays of the Julian Christian calendar? Did he not sign a national law last year outlawing advertisements for abortion? To which we must answer: yes, yes, yes, yes; true, true, true, true.

Additional “facts” can be cited to paint an even more striking image of Putin as pious champion of Christianity: crossing himself and kissing the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary that he presented to Pope Francis during his 2013 visit to the Vatican; numerous appearances with (and blessings and endorsements from) Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian church leaders; signing into law a “ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia” directed at children, while President Obama promotes the LBGT agenda at every level and every opportunity; speaking out against the persecution and murder of Christians by Islamic jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

All of this has led Catholic author/blogger Stephen K. Ryan to write glowingly of “born-again Christian” Putin:

Is Russian leadership more Christian than leadership in the US? Is the Russian Government more Christian than George Bush or Obama ever imagined the US might be? The answer to both questions is Yes, and thanks to born-again Christians, Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, Christian influence in matters of state is rapidly on the rise in Russia. Let’s look at the facts.

All the Facts, Please

Yes, let’s look at the facts; all of the facts — and in context. First and foremost, in any review of the basics regarding Putin, the most outstanding fact is that he is a creature of the Soviet KGB, a truly diabolical organization nonpareil, which stood for murder, terror, and grand deception. It was the Soviet Communist Party’s tool for the brutal suppression of religion, including the persecution of Christians: denying them jobs and education; spying on and entrapping them; arresting and imprisoning them; torturing them in unspeakable ways; desecrating and demolishing their church buildings; infiltrating their agents into churches to subvert them. The KGB destroyed thousands of Christian churches, monasteries, convents, and schools, and slaughtered millions of Christians.

But it did not destroy the churches utterly. There remained an underground church, whose members were always at risk of discovery, arrest, torture, and martyrdom. Above ground, the KGB took control of the Russian Orthodox Church, which became a very useful organ of the Soviet atheist state.

In January 2009, Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev, better known as Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, was elected, from a short list of three candidates, to be the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the highest position of authority in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The election was called to fill the post that had been left vacant by the death of Patriarch Alexy II, who had headed the ROC since 1990. Documents from the KGB archives have confirmed what sensible observers had long ago deduced from his actions: that Patriarch Alexy II (also spelled Alexi or Alexei) was a long-serving KGB agent (code-named Drozdov, “Blackbird”), in other words, a traitor to his Christian brethren and the God he claimed to serve. Putin’s KGB/FSB was taking no chances with his replacement. All three candidates — Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk (code-named Topaz), Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk (code-named Ostrovskii), and Metropolitan Kirill (code-named Mikhailov) — also have been reliably identified as agents of the KGB/FSB.

Russia expert David Satter, a former Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times (of London) and the Wall Street Journal, wrote of the election in 2009 for Forbes:

According to material from the Soviet archives, Kirill was a KGB agent (as was Alexei). This means he was more than just an informer, of whom there were millions in the Soviet Union. He was an active officer of the organization. Neither Kirill nor Alexei ever acknowledged or apologized for their ties with the security agencies.

Because Patriarch Kirill is of central importance to the myth of Putin as the Saul-to-Paul, Christian persecutor-to-Christian champion, it behooves us to more closely examine the man. He has publicly presided over, and provided official benedictions and exhortations for, Putin’s cynical and Stalinesque exploitation of Russian nationalism and Russian Orthodoxy. Josef Stalin, who had very nearly consummated the annihilation of the Russian Orthodox Church begun by Vladimir Lenin, reversed course in 1941. The reason? His erstwhile partner in crime, Adolf Hitler, had turned on him and had invaded Russia. Stalin, needing all the help he could get, cut a deal with ROC Metropolitans Sergius, Nikolay, and Alexy. In exchange for their support in rallying the Russian people, he would cease (temporarily) the persecution and allow the reopening of churches and theological schools. In fact, Stalin’s Soviet government paid for the rebuilding of many of the churches. The ROC was thus placed even more firmly under the control of the NKVD, which was later to be reorganized and renamed as the KGB.

Metropolitan Sergius had shown his true colors as far back as 1927, with his illegal proclamation that the church would be absolutely loyal to the communist government of the Soviet Union. Stalin rewarded Sergius by having him enthroned as Patriarch of Moscow in 1943.

Ever since, the Russian Orthodox Church has been the handmaiden and enabler of Soviet and post-Soviet regimes that rule the Kremlin. Following Sergius’ example, his successors likewise flourished by pacifying dissent at home and providing propaganda to the outside world to discredit reports exposing the true nature of the religious persecution and subversion going on in the Soviet Union. However, the cooperation of the church hierarchy notwithstanding, persecution of true believers returned with a new vengeance under the successive reigns of Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Chernenko, and Andropov.

Kirill, though, did not have to worry about feeling the sting of persecution; he was in tight with the persecutors and on the fast track to privilege and power! In 1969, at the age of 22, he was tonsured by Metropolitan Nikodim, one of the ROC’s most notorious KGB agents (code-named Adamant). The following year Nikodim appointed Kirill as his personal secretary and began boosting him through the ROC ranks: archimandrite, bishop, archbishop, metropolitan. One of Kirill’s most important services to the ROC/KGB was to provide a public face for the Soviet Union at the conferences of the World Council of Churches. Kirill, in fact, became a top official in the WCC, being elected to the central and executive committees of the WCC in 1975.

Such service has its earthly rewards; while the Christian brothers and sisters he betrayed were tortured and killed, or rotted away in the infamous Gulag Archipelago and psychiatric prisons, Kirill (a.k.a. Agent Mikhailov) enjoyed the high life of the Communist Party’s elite “nomenklatura.” David Satter writes:

In 1995, the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery, which is directly subordinated to the patriarchate, earned $350 million from the sale of alcohol. The patriarchate’s department of foreign church relations, which Kirill ran, earned $75 million from the sale of tobacco. But the patriarchate reported an annual budget in 1995-1996 of only $2 million. Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated by the Moscow News in 2006 to be $4 billion.

Such is the moral pedigree of “Patriarch” Kirill, the man who serves as Putin’s “spiritual advisor” and public photo-op prop. And we have barely touched on the full extent of Agent Mikhailov’s ill-famed rec­ord. Is this the man who will spiritually guide the new champion of a Christian world order? Many naïve Christians and conservatives apparently think so.

In his current ruse as Defender of the Faith, Putin is not only channeling Stalin, but also Lenin, that original Bolshevik persecutor of the church. Lenin was the supreme pragmatist, happily willing to use “whatever works,” and constantly at odds with rigid communist “purists” who failed to grasp the necessity of operational flexibility in the pursuit of the final objective. Thus, he was willing (temporarily), in the early 1920s to abandon “war communism” and adopt a faux market capitalism (his New Economic Policy) to attract foreign capital and stimulate the Soviet economy. Likewise, prior to taking control in Russia, he instructed fellow revolutionaries to conceal their atheist fervor, in order to win the Christian support necessary for their communist venture.

In his 1905 work, Socialism and Religion, Lenin wrote:

It would be stupid to think that, in a society based on the endless oppression and coarsening of the worker masses, religious prejudices could be dispelled by purely propaganda methods.... That is the reason why we do not and should not set forth our atheism in our Programme; that is why we do not and should not prohibit proletarians who still retain vestiges of their old prejudices from associating themselves with our Party.

Once he had consolidated sufficient power, Lenin set loose the Cheka (later to become the NKVD, then renamed as the KGB, then the FSB) to smite the religious allies who had unwittingly helped the closet atheists to take control. Putin, a lifelong Marxist-Leninist, as well as a professional Chekist, is merely recycling the lessons learned from the playbooks of Lenin and Stalin. None of Putin’s “reforms” is irreversible and his Potempkin Christianity is just that, a façade, a velvet glove that hides the iron fist of his KGB/FSB gangster state that rules the Kremlin.

By Their Fruits

Our space limitations here will not allow even a partial cataloging of Putin’s many criminal actions that eclipse his much-publicized Christian statements and moral posturing. Here are just a few items that seem to have slipped down the memory hole for those who now see him as some kind of new global moral leader:

• Assuming and exercising dictatorial powers throughout Russia, unprecedented since Stalin’s time.

• Appointing more KGB/FSB agents to government positions than at any previous time in Soviet or Russian Federation history. As reported by the BBC and other news agencies, studies show that 80 percent or more of Putin’s political appointees and administrators come from the security/intelligence agencies.

• Murdering Russian citizens through a number of FSB-run “Chechen terrorist attacks” in order to whip up public support for invading Chechnya. These crimes have been well documented in, for instance, Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State by David Satter, former Russian correspondent for the Financial Times of London and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University; Blowing Up Russia: The Secret Plot to Bring Back KGB Terror by FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko; The Assassination of Russia, a documentary film by Jean-Charles Deniau; The Litvinenko File by BBC reporter Martin Sixsmith; Disbelief, a documentary film by Andrei Nekrasov; and The Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin’s Rule by Hoover Institution Senior Fellow John Dunlop.

• Invading, bombing, and occupying Chechnya, including destroying much of the country and wantonly killing many civilians, including women and children. Independent estimates of the number of civilian casualties in Chechnya range from 25,000 to 200,000.

• Restoring a bust of Lenin’s first Cheka chief, Felix Dzerzhinsky (who proclaimed, “We stand for organized terror”) to a place of honor at the notorious KGB Lubyanka headquarters, and attempting to restore a giant statue of Dzerzhinsky to its former place of honor in Moscow’s Lubyanka Square.

• Murdering Russian journalists, whistleblowers, and dissidents who are brave enough to challenge his corrupt dictatorship. Famous investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya is the most well-known example, but Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists cite dozens of additional cases and have named Putin one of the world’s top “predators” of journalists. The 2006 poison murder of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko in Britain is well known, but less known are the cases of General Trofimov, Movladi Baysarov, opposition Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova, co-chairman of the Liberal Russia political party Sergei Yushenkov, Kovalev Commission member Yuri Shchekochikhin, human rights attorney Stanslav Markelov, human rights activist Natalia Estemirova — and many others.

• Expanding the “soft persecution” of Christian churches and organizations that are outside of the rigid state control exercised within the Russian Orthodox Church.

Concerning the last point above, organ­izations such as the Keston Institute of Oxford, England; International Christian Concern; and others have documented that Russia’s Ministry of Justice has been using the pretext of “looking for religious extremism” to carry out illegal inspections, harassment, and suppression of Baptist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Adventist, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and independent churches and Christian organizations. Churches other than the ROC find it difficult to get visas for priests and ministers to come to Russia, or to get permission to have meetings for Bible studies, prayer groups, and worship services.

While Putin was hailed by pro-life forces in the West for signing a law restricting advertising for abortion, Russia maintains the highest abortion rate (37.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44) of any country reported in United Nations data. What’s more, the government still provides free abortion service. The official number of abortions in Russia hovers around one million annually, but pro-life critics say the actual number may be several times that. The Putin government, however, does appear to be somewhat in earnest on this issue, but for practical, not moral reasons. With a falling birthrate and facing demographic implosion, Russia needs to dramatically ramp up its fertility rate to sustain any hope of futurity.

Vladimir Putin’s condemnations of the depravity of modern, anti-Christian culture have won rave reviews from Western Christians, which might lead many to think that Putin’s Russia is some exemplary redoubt of wholesome virtue. However, Russia today is every bit as degenerate (if not more so) as the fleshpots of the West. Pornography, child pornography, prostitution, child prostitution, sex trafficking of women and children, drug trafficking, drug addiction, alcoholism, suicide, homicide, and other social pathologies are rampant throughout Russia and cannot simply be blamed on the “decadent West.”

The Great Deception

Soviet KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn has proven to be one of the most accurate and prescient predictors of the great deception that we are now witnessing in Russia. In his famous book New Lies for Old, published in 1984, Golitsyn exposed the striking emphasis that the Kremlin strategists placed on conferences and coalitions aimed at using Christians to further the objective of one-world socialism. Golitsyn wrote:

The Christian Peace Conference, composed of East European church leaders, dates from the period of the formulation of the long-range policy [1958]. It has played an active part in influencing Western churches in the interests of that policy.

The Second All Christian Congress in Defense of Peace, held in Prague in June-July 1964, attracted one thousand delegates, including representatives of Buddhism and Islam as well as the Orthodox, Catholic, and the Anglican and other Protestant churches. The introductory speech was made by Gromadka of [Communist] Czechoslovakia, the president of the Christian Peace Conference.

Golitsyn further noted:

The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia recorded that by 1972 the World Council of Churches had been converted from a “pro-Western” to a “progressive” orientation in its policies on peace, disarmament, and related matters.

Patriarch Kirill and his ROC/KGB subordinates continue to effectively use the World Council of Churches as a tool for Kremlin policy. However, in recent years many new fronts have been established to further the same subversive agenda. One of the most important new organizations may be the Congress of World and Traditional Religions, headquartered in Astana, Kazakhstan, and founded by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the brutal communist dictator of Kazakhstan.

The 74-year-old Nazarbayev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1962, and rose to become first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic and chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the SSR. Since 1991, he has ruled as “president” of Kazakhstan, one of the most repressive of the “former” Soviet states. Like Putin, he has been magically transformed into a spiritual man. But since Kazakhstan is a Muslim country, Nazarbayev discovered that he was a Muslim, of course. This also has proved helpful in placing Kazakhstan’s communist agents inside the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, “the collective voice of the Muslim world.”

Universal Phenomenon

The Nazarbayev “conversion” is not unique. Virtually anywhere one might look throughout the world today, one will find “former” communist leaders proclaiming themselves now to have converted to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Genuine conversions of this type do occur, of course, as evidenced by the journeys of Whittaker Chambers, Maurice Malkin, Bella Dodd, Douglas Hyde, Louis Budenz, and many others. However, their breaks were clean; they didn’t cling to power or continue to push the socialist line. But in case after case, the most famous “converts” today give unmistakable evidence of having simply donned a new costume to facilitate the continuation of their same play under a different title. Here are a few of the so-called converts who still promote the Marxist-Leninist doctrine:

• Dilma Rousseff, president of Brazil and “former” communist terrorist;

• Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua and “former” Sandinista terrorist;

• Father Miguel D’Escoto, former Sandinista foreign minister and president of the United Nations General Assembly;

• Hugo Chávez, the late dictator of Venezuela;

• Illich Ramírez Sánchez, the terrorist also known as “Carlos the Jackal”;

• Arthur Waskow, veteran Marxist of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS);

• Mehdi Chamron, a founder of communist “Red Shiism” in the United States, and now an official in the Iranian regime;

• Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the terrorist PLO and “president of Palestine”;

• Angela Merkel, “former” communist propagandist and now president of Germany; and

• Gulbadin Hekmatyar, KGB agent and Afghan warlord leader of Hezb-e-Islami.

The list goes on and on. What becomes frighteningly clear from a comprehensive study of this false “conversion” phenome­non is that Golitsyn and other “Cassandras” who recognized this as a strategic Trojan Horse were right.

So, let’s recap some key points:

• Putin is a lifelong agent (and leader) of the KGB/FSB, the communist instrument used to persecute, infiltrate, and subvert Christianity in Russia.

• Putin is following the playbooks of both Lenin and Stalin of alternately (and simultaneously) persecuting and exploiting religion.

• The KGB-run Russian Orthodox Church is Putin’s “Christian” propaganda section and Patriarch Kirill (Agent Mikhailov) is his right-hand man.

• Far from exemplifying Christian virtues, Putin is running a KGB-mafia state that employs murder, repression, and terror.

• Putin’s “conversion” fits a global pattern (Nazarbayev, Rousseff, Abbas, Ortega, Chávez, et al.) of Marxist-Leninists who are using religion to advance the same communist objectives.

KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s detailed study of the deceptive, gradual merging of the communist and non-communist blocs under world socialism, tragically, is proving to be all too accurate. However, Christians are called to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Why then allow ourselves to be deceived by a diabolical disorientation that would put up an agent of anti-Christ communism as a new “savior” of Christendom?

 

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