John R. Houk
© August 9, 2017
I read an essay posted as a guest columnist at the RaymondIbrahim.com – Islam Translated website by Ralph H. Sidway. The theme of the essay is that there are persecuted Christians in the Muslim Middle East and that President Vladimir Putin is aligning the Russian government with the Russian Orthodox Church to act as a Russo-Christian advocate for the persecuted.
I have long been a proponent of exposing the tyranny heaped upon the persecuted Church in Muslim lands. I have formed a semi-journalistic relationship with Pakistani-Christian Shamim Masih living in Pakistan in order to give readers a snapshot of the persecution going on in Pakistan. I wish I had a Shamim in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria as well as among the Arabs that call themselves Palestinians also of the Christian faith that would also provide snapshots of local Christian treatment perspectives. Unfortunately I do not.
My first reaction ran something like, ‘Good for Putin in focusing global attention on the plight of Christians in Muslim lands.’ Sidway writes an effective essay upholding Putin as a friend of the Middle Eastern persecuted Church while Obama has done his best globally to proclaim that America is a friend of Islam and that Biblical Christianity is a primitive practice of backward Americans that love their guns and religion.
Okay, I can’t help it. Here’s an Obama jab:
So anyway I thought a bit on Putin’s Christian advocacy and Obama’s war on Christianity. Initially I was embarrassed for America. Until the infusion of Leftists transforming America away from faith, Christianity was the moral foundation of American Culture. I mean after all Obama’s 2008 election slogan was ‘Change’.
And then I begin to think of Putin’s past. I mean this guy was the KGB apparatchik of the dying Soviet Union. The Soviet Union’s goal from its 1917 revolution was to transform Russia into the Leninist and then Stalinist vision of Marxism which can better be described with the image of anti-Americanism that the word ‘Communism’ instilled into Americans from the Post-WWII days of the Cold War. Karl Marx’s idea of a utopia was a State-less society free of property ownership and the abolishment of all religion. Lenin initiated the plan Russian-style to force a rapid transformation. Then Stalin took the transformation concept to an even more severe path that resulted in a genocide that made Hitler’s Holocaust look like a picnic. Hitler’s genocide most notably was the extermination of 6 MILLION Jews; however there is another 6 MILLION Non-Jews killed by Hitler.
The Holocaust was more than a Jewish event. Records kept by the Germans prove they exterminated millions of Communists, Czechs, Greeks, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, mentally and physically handicapped, Poles, resistance fighters, Russians, Serbs, Socialists, Spanish Republicans, trade unionists, Ukrainians, Yugoslavians, prisoners of war of many nations, and still others whose identity may never be recognized.(1) Their victims, according to one survivor of four different concentration camps, "were of some thirty nationalities, from Nepalese to Andorrans, and of a variety of racial and linguistic stocks ranging from Basques to Buriats and from Ladinos to Lapps".(2) When people were not immediately exterminated, they were sent to work and/or concentration camps. There the prisoners were divided into six penal categories and given patches on their clothing for identification purposes. Ordinary criminals were assigned green; political prisoners wore red; black was worn by asocials (slackers, prostitutes, procurers, etc.); homosexuals wore pink; conscientious objectors wore purple, and the Jewish people wore yellow.(3) (Overlooked Millions: Non-Jewish Victims of the Holocaust; by Karen Silverstrim)
Now conservatively Stalin is accused of killing 7 MILLION of his own citizens in the USSR. R. J. Rummel published by the University of Hawaii utilized a definition of mass murder from the word Democide to indicate so much more than the Holocaust:
The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.
According Rummel and Democide, Joseph Stalin was responsible for 43 MILLION murdered people:
Stalin himself is responsible for almost 43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around 39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and transit thereto. (HOW MANY DID COMMUNIST REGIMES MURDER? By R. J. Rummel; Hawaii.edu)
This Communist extermination is the legacy that Vladimir Putin inherited. Putin had a KGB spy career in the old Soviet Union and was involved with some brutal stuff to spread the Soviet National Interests abroad and to keep USSR citizens towing the line of Soviet Communism. This would include enforcing atheism the social hallmark of the Marxist transformation for Soviet Communist society. Russia’s President Yeltsin eventually promoted Putin to the head of the FSB which has become the new Russia’s version of the KGB in the old USSR.
So what is Putin doing in promoting the Russian Orthodox Church and advocating for Christians in the Muslim Middle East?
Since the end of the post-Soviet days Christianity has been exploding in Russia. Indeed American missionary work converted so many Russian citizens to Christianity that they began to challenge the numbers of the traditional Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Orthodox Church has always considered itself as the State Church of Russia. In Czarist Russian days this was the case. Of course Communist Russia’s anti-religion stance disenfranchised the Russian Orthodox Church; however the Soviet government basically ran the Russian Patriarchate as a government fiefdom as a Marxist propaganda tool. The collapse of the Soviet Union brought a new opportunity for Orthodox Church to once again to be the enfranchised Church of Russia. That has not happened as of 2013; however the Putin-Medvedev team has mysteriously been promoting the connection between Mother Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. This seems to me that Orthodox enfranchisement is around the corner.
I expect a Russian government and Russian Orthodox persecution of Russian Evangelical Christians to occur once a State Church is enfranchised. Persecution would be inevitable of the Protestant Evangelicals (which are largely Charismatic) under Russian Orthodox enfranchisement. So again, why would an old Soviet Communist Putin snuggle up to the Russian Orthodox Church?
Here is the reason. Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia a Super Power like in the days of the old USSR. Soviet-Communist ideology is no longer the paradigm used to unite a people to be loyal to the State. Putin intends to use the Russian Orthodox Church to not only give Russians a patriotic nationalism to unite behind, but also to reach out beyond the current Russian borders to Christians that consider themselves Eastern Rite Christians. This is the case even though most of the Eastern Rite Christians that are in Muslim lands are not necessarily Eastern Orthodox like the Russian Church. Many of the Eastern Rite Churches under Muslim domination that have an ancient history were under the Eastern Orthodox domination of the Greek Church that was the State Church of the Byzantine Empire conquered by the Ottoman Turks ultimately in 1453. In 1453 Ottoman Empire conquered the last remnant of the Byzantines at the slaughter of the sack of Constantinople. The Ottoman’s Islamized Constantinople killing priests and nuns and desecrating Churches especially the oldest Christian edifice of its day the Hagia Sofia (Turkish government Islamization) the seat of the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church considered second in primacy to the Pope of Rome (although Eastern Rite Churches had long broke off their Patriarchate relationship with the Latin Church headed by the Pope).
Muslim Apologists use the differences that existed between the Greek Orthodox Church and other Eastern Churches as an excuse of liberation rather than forced conquest. There may have been some pockets of truth to the Muslim Apologist assertions; nevertheless after the so-called liberation of Eastern Rite Churches from the Greek Orthodox of the Byzantine Empire, brutal Islamization began [See Also HERE] so that the majority Christian population slowly converted to Islam and Arabic speaking rather than live under dhimmi repression.
Vladimir Putin’s interest in Eastern Rite Christianity of the Middle East is certainly more political than appearing as the Defender of the Faith. The greatest example is the Syrian civil war that essentially pits the Sunni majority against the al-Assad Shia Alawite minority regime. Al-Assad has been a protector of Syria’s Christian minority against Radical Islam which apparently dominates the Sunni Muslim rebels. Putin is invested in Iran militarily and economically and undoubted because of oil. Iran is the parent to its client state the al-Assad government of Syria.
If Putin successfully places himself as the Defender of the Faith to his Russian people then the Russian Orthodox Church will be the instrument that unites Russia [See Also HERE] under the rule of Putin.
And so Putin’s image on the face of it appears to outshine Obama’s in being vocal against Christian persecution perpetrated by Muslims in Islamic nations. Putin has a political agenda that includes the age old practice of expanding Russia’s borders and influence while uniting Russians via the Russian Orthodox Church projecting a patriotic nationalism of Mother Russia with Christ on his side.
At the same time Obama is increasingly demonizing Biblical Morality and producing the illusion of a Living Constitution to install a Socialistic transformation based on Leftist Moral Relativism, Egalitarian Social Justice and Secular Humanism. Deleting the Christian influence from American Society will only succeed in making America into a corrupt culture in which all right and wrong will be measured by what the State proclaims to be good. The reality of such a Leftist proclamation will result in America ceasing to be good. After America ceases to be good we will no longer be a homogenous unified nation. Rather America will collapse into political fiefdoms of Multicultural Diversity opening the USA to become the Fractured States of America.