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18325Re: [orthodox-synod] The Vanishing Russians Parts I-III: What Responsibility Has the MP Taken?

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  • Melissa Bushunow
    Nov 2, 2006
      Reporters Without Borders puts Russia as 140th out of 168 countries in
      rankings of journalistic freedom and safety. This latest ranking is
      based on events from September 2003 to September 2004. September
      2006's murders of ITAR-TASS Journalist Anatoly Voronin and Novaya
      Gazeta's reporter Anna Politkovskaya and all the other cases of
      journalist murder and intimidation for the past two years aren't
      figured in. http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11716

      If those -- whose profession is to make their voice heard -- are not
      safe in the Russian Federation then a) it is not surprising that those
      without a voice are abused; b) the the scale of immorality and
      lawlessness of Putin's Russia is underreported. Below are a few
      incidents which did come to light.

      "Yekaterinburg, Russia � A massive child sex ring was exposed in
      downtown Yekaterinburg... The accused were caught selling young boys,
      renting them for sexual services and routinely raping them. Their
      victims were over 1,000 boys, ages 12 through 17. This �business� has
      been operating for five years..."

      In Putin's army young men and boys are being raped and beaten to death
      in the armed services, and no one in the upper ranks of officers has
      had to take any responsibility for the senseless brutality. One of the
      "victims is 19-year old Radik Habirov from Kazan, who was brought in
      to a local hospital weighing only 65 pounds and is now in a coma. This
      is the worst case of documented abuse in the Russian Army since the
      widely reported case of Pvt. Sychev six months ago. Last week in Moscow
      more details emerged from closed hearings about the extent of Pvt.
      Sychev�s mutilation. Even Army doctors accustomed to seeing scars and
      broken bones from abuse have been shocked at how severely Pvt. Sychev
      was tortured by his comrades. Army doctors had tried to cover up the
      crime, blaming the loss of Sychev�s legs on a pre-existing medical
      condition, but a civilian panel of medical examiners concluded that
      Sychev was gang raped in the barracks while taped to his bunk. After
      being sodomized repeatedly, he was forced to do squats, then made to
      hold in the squatting position for hours, until he lost circulation in
      his legs. By the time he was brought to a hospital, doctors could only
      save Sychev�s life by amputating his legs and genitals.

      The Soviets made it illegal for the Orthodox Church and Orthodox
      institutions to take care of the the ill, the orphans, the poor. The
      heirs of the Soviet system -- Putin and his soviet oligarchs (the
      soviets who were in power when the system "fell" maintained their grasp
      on power) -- have ignored the societal obligations that the soviet
      system seized and at least gave lip service to. And the MP since
      regaining its "freedom" has not taken up the slack.

      Yes, rebuilding churches is God-pleasing, printing literature is
      God-pleasing, but Christ said to the pharisees (St. Matthew 23:23) that
      they should have done the one and not ignored the other. Woe unto
      you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and
      anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
      judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to
      leave the other undone.

      Christ addresses the excuse of withholding care of the poor (in this
      case elderly parents) in order to donate to the temple: 3Jesus
      replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your
      tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'[a] and 'Anyone
      who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 5But you say
      that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might
      otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' [meaning
      that it is a gift to the temple] 6he is not to 'honor his father[c]'
      with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your
      tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about
      �8" 'These people honor me with their lips,
      ������but their hearts are far from me.
      �9They worship me in vain;
      ������their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[d]"

      The church is to be both Martha and Mary. We are reminded on the
      Sunday of the last Judgment that we will be judged for our care of the
      poor and ill.

      Why has the Orthodox Church MP not taken this subject up? Because it
      involves criticizing their past soviet masters, who are still their
      present day masters. If the MP would truly throw off the soviet yoke
      by complete confession of its past and continuing complicity, then its
      penance could include fulfilling its scriptural obligations. It would
      have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help remedy
      the horrors and lawlessness occurring under Putin.

      On Oct 28, 2006, at 10:48 PM, Mike Woodson wrote:
      > Below I reproduce two key paragraphs buttressing my arguments of
      > neglect, and specifically, because the paragraphs discussed conditions
      > of 3 years ago, versus the LA Times report now, I argue that the
      > Moscow
      > Patriarchate, acting as the social policy arm of the government, has
      > been partially responsible for these status quos. At the time of the
      > below report excerpts from a 2003 US State Department Country Report
      > <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27861.htm> , Patriarch
      > Alexei II who had been asserting that there had been a spiritual
      > revival
      > in Russia back in 2003, had been in office for twelve years (12) when
      > the below statistics about the MP's government power, and about
      > homeless
      > children came out. What is said, and what is done, is yet again
      > different. The virtous thing is written or said, and the reality is
      > something else. See how this applied to children in 2003:
      > The status of many children has deteriorated since the collapse of
      > communism because of falling living standards, an increase in the
      > number
      > of broken homes, and domestic violence. Authorities cited 253,000
      > parents in 2001 for leaving children on the street unattended, up from
      > 248,000 in 2000. In Moscow, approximately 6,000 children per year were
      > brought to the Center of Temporary Isolation of Minor Delinquents
      > (COVINA). These children stayed in COVINA for no more than 30 days.
      > During this period, the child's case was investigated, and his or her
      > guardian was located; however, in 90 to 95 percent of these cases, the
      > police simply returned the children to their families or to the
      > institution from which the children ran away. Many officials
      > considered
      > domestic problems private affairs and preferred not to interfere.
      > Trafficking in children was a problem (see Section 6.f.)."
      > Figures for homeless children were unreliable. According to the
      > Ministry
      > of Labor, there were estimates from 100,000 to 5 million neglected
      > children in Russia. In 2002, about 681,000 vagrant children were
      > detained by law enforcement agencies, 2.5 times the 2001 rate. About
      > 50,000 adolescents were on the local and federal wanted lists in 2002,
      > 13.5 percent more than in 2001. The Russian Children's Fund estimated
      > in
      > 2001 that there were approximately 2.5 million children living on the
      > street, although other estimates reached as high as 4 million;
      > scientific studies used differing methodologies to count street
      > children. During the year, Moscow authorities indicated that 40,000
      > working street children lived in the capital but claimed 80 percent
      > were
      > from places other than Moscow. In addition, there were approximately
      > 3,000 young persons ageed 18 to 24 in Leningrad Oblast, most of them
      > discharged from state institutions and given state housing, who had
      > difficulty maintaining a residence and adapting to non-institutional
      > life in general. Homeless children often engaged in criminal
      > activities,
      > received no education, and were vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse.
      > Some young girls on the street turned, to or were forced into,
      > prostitution in order to survive.
      > And here is the report on the Moscow Patriarchate's true relationship
      > to
      > the Russian government, indicating its influential, yet apparently
      > ineffectual and neglectful role during these years:
      > Many religious minority groups and NGOs complained of what they
      > believed
      > was collusion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state.
      > Neither
      > the Constitution nor the 1997 law accords explicit privileges or
      > advantages to "traditional religions;" however, many politicians and
      > public figures argued for closer cooperation with them, above all with
      > the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow Patriarchate. Public statements
      > by
      > some government officials, including President Putin, and anecdotal
      > evidence from religious minority groups, suggested that the Russian
      > Orthodox Church increasingly enjoyed a status that approached
      > official.
      > The Church has entered into a number of agreements with government
      > ministries giving it special access to institutions such as schools,
      > hospitals, prisons, the police, the FSB, and the army. The Russian
      > Orthodox Church appears to have had greater success reclaiming
      > pre-revolutionary property than other groups, and many religious
      > workers
      > believed that the Russian Orthodox Church played a role in the
      > cancellation of visas held by non-Orthodox foreign religious workers.
      > The child neglect problem was actually worsening 11 years into
      > Patriarch
      > Alexei II's reign over the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. Same
      > with
      > the broken family problem. And if you consider health care part of
      > Christian ministry, as I do, there were apparently very few if any
      > attempts by the MP to spearhead reforms in on that front for the past
      > fifteen (15) years.
      > Neglect kills people just as sure as abortion does. St. Paul said, "He
      > who knows to do good, but does not do it, to him that is a sin."
      > It is this Moscow Patriarchate that the ROCOR stands to legitimize by
      > lifting the suspension on communion. The suspension was never
      > governing
      > the same communion between those members of the Russian Church in
      > Russia
      > and Outside of Russia. It was always for the purpose of bringing the
      > MP
      > to repentance and Russia to freedom. The information on record shows a
      > stunning bankruptcy in ethics at the MP for allowing its conflict of
      > interest and cronyism with the Kremlin to numb it to the need to
      > preach
      > out and be the conscience and the moral leadership in getting the
      > government and business to act to improve the health, welfare and
      > development of Russia-at-Large.
      > Is the Moscow Patriarchate that has still not repented of these
      > lapses,
      > really what the ROCOR wants to legitimize with the lift on the
      > suspension of communion planned for 2007, given what we know of the
      > MP's
      > unrepentant priorities over these past 15 to 20 years?

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