By Marcin Skladanowski, TELOS
As the observable processes of social life become more secular in the post-Christian countries of the West, there has been a noticeable attempt to make Russia look like a defender of “traditional Christian values” and emphasize the church’s right to be present in public life and shape this life in its various aspects. This is mostly self-aggrandizement, clearly seen in the statements of President Putin, with the close cooperation of Kirill (Gundyayev), Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’. Such rhetoric resonates in the West, to a certain extent, both in conservative Christian groups and in far-right political and intellectual circles.
The basis of this article is the conviction prevalent in Russia that it has a special mission as a defender of “traditional Christian values,” which works in combination with the associated myths of Russian moral conservatism. This conviction is expressed both by the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church (including Patriarch Kirill) and by the Russian establishment (including President Putin). It also appears in the statements of certain Christian conservative circles in the West that perceive Russia and Russian Orthodoxy as a supporter in their fight against the secularization of Western societies.