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PYRRHIC VICTORY OF ORTHODOXY

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    PYRRHIC VICTORY OF ORTHODOXY RRN - by Dmitry Frolov - Sovershenno Sekretno, No. 7, July 2003 That the succession to the throne in the Russian Orthodox church
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      PYRRHIC VICTORY OF ORTHODOXY
      RRN - by Dmitry Frolov - Sovershenno Sekretno, No. 7, July 2003
      That the succession to the throne in the Russian Orthodox church (MP) is being discussed
      today not only among clergy seems completely natural. Never in modern Russian/Soviet
      history have the Orthodox faith and church been so publicly respected as now.
      One should not forget, however, that modern Russian history has graphically demonstrated to
      us how greatly illusory is the officially demonstrated adherence of society to one or
      another set of ideas and institutions. Just what is the true place of Orthodoxy in the
      consciousness of the nation that once proudly called itself "God-bearing," and then lived
      for the course of many decades under the theomachistic state, and now sees every Christmas
      on the television screens the first persons of the country in an Orthodox church?
      In search of an answer to this question we turned to doctor of historical sciences, the
      chief scientific associate of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
      Dmitry Furman. Among sociologists Professor Furman is well known for his series of
      Russia-wide surveys which in the period from 1991 to 2002 investigated the place of
      religion in the consciousness of postsoviet Russian society. They lay at the base of his
      monograph "Old churches, new believers," but this did not make the results of his research
      generally known. This happened because the scholar's conclusions, based on impartial
      statistics, completely erased the grand picture of a return of Russians to the spiritual
      heritage of the Orthodox church.
      "We really do observe an Orthodox consensus in society. But this victory of the church is
      so superficial and formal, like the recently past victory of the communist worldview in the
      country of developed socialism," Professor Furman thinks. And this conclusion is confirmed
      by the following statistics: more than 90% of those questioned display sympathy for the
      institution of the church, more than 80% of Russians consider themselves Orthodox, although
      only 7% attend church once a month. This number, reflecting the number of true believers,
      gives evidence that there are fewer of them in our country than any other place in modern
      Europe. A comparison with traditionally religious Poland, where 78% of the population
      regularly attends church, is obviously incorrect. But even the most secular neighbors on
      the continent display more impressive indicators. For example, in France, where the state
      consistently conducts a policy of secularization, 12% of the population attends church.
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