Christians Must Reject Putin’s Christianity

on April 15, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a two-part series.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer when the service was promoting an anti-Western, Marxist version of Christianity. He is now, with some success, pitching himself as the man who can save Christianity from the moral vices of the West and Islamic oppression. Putin’s public display of his faith even prompted Christian-Conservative writer Pat Buchanan to pen a column asking, “Whose Side is God on Now?”

Pointing to Putin’s tough stances on homosexuality, abortion and mockery of the faith, Buchanan wrote, “In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.” He pointed out that the World Council of Families in Illinois praised Putin’s “pro-family” advocacy.

But Putin’s Christianity is not “traditional.” A traditional Christian would not lament the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

Putin’s Christianity marries anti-Western sentiment, hyper-nationalism and his own authoritarian streak. During the Cold War, Soviet intelligence promoted this Christian Marxism even though the communists are supposed to be atheists. It was known as Liberation Theology.

Robert D. Chaplan writes in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence:

“Without doubt, the Theology of Liberation doctrine is one of the most enduring and powerful to emerge from the KGB’s headquarters. The doctrine asks the poor and downtrodden to revolt and form a Communist government, not in the name of Marx or Lenin, but in continuing the work of Jesus Christ, a revolutionary who opposed economic and social discrimination.”

Putin is positioning himself as a modern-day Crusader coming to the rescue of Christianity. About 70% of Russians are Orthodox Christians, but his target audience isn’t just domestic. The entire purpose of Christian Marxism was to influence “traditional” Western Christianity and it is also a vehicle for Putin to cultivate a global fan-base.

As Buchanan’s column demonstrates, Putin’s language will strike a chord with Western Christians. More evidence comes can be seen in the comments section of a YouTube video with over 70,000 views titled, “Vladimir Putin’s Christian Faith—In His Own Words.”

He credits Russia’s greatness with God’s blessing, talks like a culture warrior for morality and decries moral relativism. Last year, he called for an international alliance to save Christians from persecution, “especially in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Here are some highlights from Putin’s speeches:

  • “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”

  • “The adoption of Christianity became a turning point in the fate of our fatherland, made it an inseparable part of the Christian civilization and helped it turn into one of the largest powers.”

  • “We must secure a firm spiritual and moral foundation for our society.”

  • “Society is now required not only to recognize everyone’s right to the freedom of consciousness [conscience], political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, as strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning.”

Putin’s language will strike a chord with Western Christians. The English-language version of Pravda, for example, published an article titled, “US Threatened by Russia’s Christianity.” The author claims that conservative Christians are writing him singing praises. Regardless of whether that is true or not, the point is that Putin’s media outlets are trying to reach American Christians, especially the right-wing.

Here’s one interesting paragraph from the article:

“In the East there is someone that causes the western liberal’s maniacal laughter to stop. Vladimir Putin. He has real world power, which causes the liberal media to fearfully ignore or warp his image. Like a good Christian King he leads a nation to Christ. Deep down in their evil souls they shriek like devils because they know Christ is true God and true power that they cannot defeat. They thought the Bolshevik revolution destroyed Holy Mother Russia. Christ cannot be defeated and his servant Putin has welcomed Christ and His church.”

The Russian Orthodox Church serves as Putin’s platform. As one of the KGB’s prime targets for Christian Marxism, it should be no surprise that it acts as a tool of Putin’s state, so much so that its leader said that Putin’s tenure was a “miracle of God” in 2012.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church draws a contrast between his country’s treatment of the faith and that of the West. He says the West’s governments are guilty of “spiritual disarmament” and “the general political direction of the elite bears, without doubt, an anti-Christian and anti-religious character.”

The chief ecumenical officer of the Russian Orthodox Church displayed Christian Marxism in July 2013 when he said the West’s shift in favor of gay marriage “is a dangerous and apocalyptic symptom.” He implied that the West is inherently aggressive by warning that the West’s move away from Christian values would unleash “its totalitarian impulses.”

He blames the West’s practice of secular democracy for its moral decline. He predicts that totalitarianism will eventually result from this “secularization in disguise of democratization.”

At the same time as Putin is displaying his Christian faith, he is cracking down on human rights. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say he has “unleashed a greatest crackdown on civil society unprecedented in the country’s post-Soviet history” and instituted restrictions that are “deliberately reminiscent of the Cold War.”

Putin wants to present Christians with a choice: Loyalty to the West, despite the grievances they have with its treatment of Christianity or loyalty to Russia, despite their grievances with its treatment of Western democratic values.

He wants Christians to feel they have to choose between Western freedoms and their traditional faith. Putin is hoping that Christians will see their faith as more compatible with Russia’s Christian Marxism than with the West’s democratic secularism.

One example of this is Russia’s passing of a blasphemy law that threatens up to three years in jail for “offending religious feelings.” The stifling of anti-Christian speech may appeal to some Christians worried about the future of their faith, but it’s fundamentally anti-democratic. The same goes for Russia’s ban on exposing minors to “gay propaganda.”

This does not mean that Christians are exempt from being victimization. No one seriously doubts that Putin would lock up a Christian critic of his. When Putin instituted a ban on foreign funding of non-governmental organizations, hundreds of religious groups including Christian ones were investigated.

International Christian Concern says that non-Orthodox Christians in Russia suffer in a “difficult climate,” as opposed to the Putin-aligned Russian Orthodox Church. In other words, Putin sees a struggle within Christianity and he wants his side to win. Christians in Crisis explains:

“Non-Orthodox Christian groups in Russia are seen as rooted in the United States in particular and the West in general, and competing with the Orthodox Church for membership. And both the government—for which a key priority is to protect ‘Holy Russia’ from ‘foreign devils’—and the Orthodox Church, which is already closely associated with the government, are anti-West.”

In September 2012, the Russian government demolished Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church in Moscow because it did not have the necessary permits. Over 200 members of the congregation participated in a service in the rubble afterwards. The pastor was then fined because worship services require governmental approval.

In November, the Russian government outlawed a famous sermon by Andrey Sheptytsky, who was the Ukrainian Catholic Church, for being “extremist.” He was being considered for sainthood. At the same time, 15 other sermons by Ukrainian nationalists were branded as “extremist.” Here again, Russia viewed non-Orthodox forms of Christianity as pro-Western adversaries.

After Putin annexed Crimea, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church priest said “all Ukrainian Greek Catholic life in Crimea is paralyzed” due to “total persecution.” Kidnappings, harsh interrogations and threats are all being reported. The Church has no legal status in Russia.

“If Russia refuses to grant Catholic or certain Ukrainian Orthodox Churches registration in the newly Russian Crimea, it is a sure sign that far worse persecution is just around the corner,” said Ryan Morgan of International Christian Concern.

Putin’s confrontation with the West is not just about his infinite ego, geopolitics or his government’s authoritarianism. For him, it’s a struggle for his faith between the morally-decadent Western camp aligned with NATO and the Christian Marxist camp aligned with Russia.

  1. Comment by Andrew Orlovsky on April 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Good Article. American Evangelicals who defend Putin are the pretty much the equivalent of American Liberals who defend Islamic Extremists.

  2. Comment by D eriksen on June 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    It is an historical fact that Eastern Orthodoxy founded the original, ancient Christian Church (think Greek, Ethiopian, Armenian, etc). The values Putin espouses are actual Christian understandings with modern versions of the faith being innovative. Whether we like this or not cannot change this given. However it is unfortunate that the Russian government is seemingly intolerant of other views and faiths and the open questioning that faith requires. This would not be a Christian approach or value. But do we really know what this man thinks or feels? Probably not given the control and distortion of media in both the West and East.

  3. Comment by Paolo Moleman on October 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    American leaders are laughable because maybe 1% are Christians or act like Christians. McCain, Graham, Rubio, Corker, McConnel and all the Democrats have been backing ISIL/ISIS/NUSRA who are killing Chrostians in Syria.

    Putin and Russia stood up to these NE COn And NeoLib murderers when the USA wanted to bomb Syria. The USA actions in the middle east have caused great harm and death for Christians in the middle east.

  4. Comment by Paolo Moleman on October 19, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Rubbish. Putin and Russia helped defend Christians in Syria along with Assad, the Syrian Army and even Hezbollah. The USA, UK, Saudis and others backed the murderers of Christians in Syria. Putin also backed Christians in the Balkans being bombed by NATO.

  5. Comment by Metropolitan Jonah on April 15, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Pure nonsense.

  6. Comment by KFerrer on April 18, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    My one critique of this article would be that it does not seem to demonstrate any knowledge of Russia, historically. Historically, Russia has seen herself, and her empire as guardian of the Orthodox faithful against the various threats of Islamism and heretical faith. One may or may not agree with this assessment of Russia’s role or may critique her fulfillment of this role but I don’t think it’s possible to really understand her actions apart from understanding this.

  7. Comment by Je' Czaja on June 27, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Putin’s comment that the collapse of USSR was a tragedy was not referring to collapse of communism, but collapse of the union. He is not a communist, he is opposed by communists. He is a center-right nationalist and if that qualifies for ex-communication from the Body of Christ, he’s going out with millions of others around the world.

  8. Comment by Paolo Moleman on October 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    What BS. Who was fighting to protect Syrian Christians in Syria? Russia and Putin. Who was arming and supporting ISIS/ISIL/NUSRA et al to kill Christians in Syria? The United States, Saudis, UK and a favorite country of evangelicals. Who supported the Muslim Brotherhood is persecuting Christians? The USA. Putin and Russia is more Christian than the United States now.

  9. Comment by Raphelibe on February 2, 2015 at 3:14 am

    The USA and the Western governments rejected the bible and its values. They consciously accepted ungodly popular opinions over godly opinions. The moral values that kept the society sane which were mostly derived from the bible by their ancestors were discarded on the altars of liberalism, polical correctness and “we are free to do what we like with our bodies”. I believe that we are yet to see more. I forsee in the US and WEST a generation that will demand for the legal liberty for fathers to marry their daughters, brothers and sisters of the same blood parents demanding the license to marry one another, people requesting to marry dogs, horses and other animals as official legal spouses.
    These are the issues that PUTIN has capitalized on and has thoughtfully exploited to support a brand of Christianity that on the surface looks like he is standing firm on correct biblical doctrines. He knows that by distancing himself from anti biblical “evangelical” beliefs supported by the US and the WEST he will win support and sympathy from many who are opposed to these discredited godly values jettisoned by the USA and the West.
    I don’t beleif in Putin being a Christian beyond his hidden agenda to have control of the citizens mind through his approved orthodox churches. If he is genuine he should allow the evangelicals a free hand to operate. On the other hand what he is doing is not different from what the Western governments and the U.S. have done by promoting anti Christian values and promoting laws that will bind Christians to accept them. When you force people directly or indirectly to accept what is against their beliefs, you are not different from PUTIN.

  10. Comment by Kah on July 27, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    good statements

  11. Comment by zeitgeist2012 on November 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    The rhetoric and propaganda between white christian America’s enemies is in full blast mode while more of our people are killed off in the elitist Zionist/Jesuit hedonistic wars. For example, Putin’s mother is supposed to be Jewish making Putin another Zionist crypto-Jew claiming to be an orthodox christian while he praises Israel and honors the Holohoax with threats of imprisonment when the Zionist/Jesuit gangsters are multiculturally robbing and destroying white protestant and christian people and their nations. Putin is said to have issued arrest warrants for elitist Jewish criminals Rothschild/Soros while clamping down on Islam in Russia. Donald Trump claims to be a protestant while his kids married elitist Zionist Jews and convert to the Kabbalist religion of Judaism that is one big enemy of all protestants and christians. Our christian American people are sent to Islamic infested nations to get killed while the elitist Zionist/Jesuit banksters and their corporatist/political henchmen flood our nations with Islamic/third world coreligionist enemies of whites and Christianity.

    The Catholic church and many of our once great protestant churches in the west have been hijacked by Zionist crypto-Jew subversives that spawned Judeo-Christianity, Christian Zionism, and now Chrislam that are nothing more than a Kabbalist brand of Judaism. So, if Putin is a real white christian than his concerns are well founded.

  12. Comment by Brevity on November 27, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    Hi zeitgeist 2012, I note you are a follower , I’m flattered.!
    I have the DVD;s of zeitgeist and addendum, quite fascinating. If Donald Trump is elected to be the next PM I fear for America LOL
    I have Friends in New Jersey and have been to the U.S. a few times , enjoyed my stay. As for Putin , there is nothing Christian about him .

  13. Comment by on November 14, 2017 at 5:20 am

    I think it’s wrong to mix politics and faith, because the church should be out of politics in my opinion.

  14. Comment by Stefan on January 19, 2019 at 2:18 am

    In the culture war for the future of mankind, Putin is planting Russia’s flag firmly on the side of traditional Christianity.Russia’s role, in Putin’s words, is to “prevent movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.”…Western values are this: the West’s capitulation to a sexual revolution of easy divorce, rampant promiscuity, pornography, feminism, abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, assisted suicide — the displacement of Christian values by Hollywood values…

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