Burden or Blessing? Russian Orthodoxy and the Construction by Christopher Marsh; Nikolas Gvosdev (Editors)

By Christopher Marsh; Nikolas Gvosdev (Editors)

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Extra resources for Burden or Blessing? Russian Orthodoxy and the Construction of Civil Society and Democracy (Orthodox Church in Russia)

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In late 2002 Minister of 47 Burden or Blessing? , the new course and its associated textbook were denounced by their critics as a thinly disguised attempt to indoctrinate children into Orthodox dogma. The proposed curriculum drew vigorous opposition not only from secular human-rights activists but from Russia’s Muslim leaders. Ravil Gainutdin, the country’s most influential mufti, stated publicly that he and his coreligionists “were alarmed by the fact that the Ministry of Education approached this question unilaterally, recommending all schools to introduce the study of the foundations of only one of the traditional religions.

Only a handful of Orthodox believers reject democracy because, in their opinion, it does not leave room for the God-given authority of the tsar. Freedom of speech and conscience provides an avenue for preaching the Gospel and expressing the Orthodox position on social issues. Democratic mechanisms allow Orthodox Christians to influence the government through their participation in elections and civil activism. In the past few years Church officials, enthusiastic clergymen, and 31 Burden or Blessing?

For instance, 53 Burden of Blessing? in the early 1990s it approved curriculum and training provided by two groups, a group of Evangelical Protestant para-church agencies, denominations, and colleges known as The CoMission and a group affiliated with Sun Yung Moon’s Unification Church, the International Educational Foundation (IEF). The foreign groups, unlike the ROC, possessed the resources to produce a new curriculum and the volunteers to provide the training necessary to implement it. Though they initially welcomed these groups, the Russian Ministry of Education never envisioned supporting a particular branch of Christianity.

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