By Alec Luhn, The Telegraph
A Russian Orthodox bishop has advised the faithful not to vote for Vladimir Putin when he stands for re-election in March, a nearly unheard of occurrence in the loyal church.
The angry statement marked the first time an acting bishop has spoken against supporting the current president, according to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, but it was motivated by Mr Putin’s perceived impiety rather than political differences.
Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin of the epiphany cathedral in the Siberian city of Ishim wrote on his page on VK, Russia’s most popular social network, that he could no longer follow his “desire to vote for Putin” following “blasphemous” remarks by the president.
“’If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is your darkness!’ are the words of Christ,” Mr Kurochkin wrote. “And will I go against Christ to vote for darkness or advise anyone to do this? No, no and no!”
The bishop was angered by comments in a state television film about Valaam, an island of monasteries and churches in Lake Ladoga where the president has a holiday home. Mr Putin had argued that the Soviet regime had “adapted” Christian ideas for its communist ideology, including in its mummification of Vladimir Lenin, whose body remains on display on Red Square.
While the Russian Orthodox church has been growing increasingly influential in recent years, it has usually been supportive of the ruling regime. This goes back to a tradition of loyalty in tsarist times, when the official ideology was “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”.
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P**sy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova on the parade of the authoritarian tendencies
P**sy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova: When I think about Russian interference in American elections — yes, of course it did happen, and it’s not really a unique situation. Putin’s (an) ex-KGB agent, and as we probably all know, there is no such a thing as ex-KGB agent because he still has this philosophy that I need to somehow, in my own malicious ways, to interfere in politics of other countries. It’s not really unique situation because American did it as well. But, yes, if you ask me, Putin did this hacker attacks, yes, Russian hackers are involved in that.
To read entire interview, click HERE