The State and the Church in Russia

Religion itself had a major impact on the formation of political systems in the territory of the Eurasian continent. Even in Western Europe, which now is an example of secular states, until recently, public institutions have a solid background in the face of so-called Christian Democrats. It is recognized not only by supporters of the Conservatives, but even the most liberal approaches to international relations. Recently, in the article issued in CFR’s "Foreign Affairs" author pointed to the fact the EU crisis as the decline of ideas and culture of the Christian Democrats, rose from Protestant and Catholic European communities. And this, in turn, threatens to change the political map of Europe. He argues that “Christian Democrat” is a designation that sounds peculiar to anyone accustomed to a strict separation of church and state. The term first appeared in the wake of the French Revolution and in the midst of fierce battles about the fate of the Catholic Church in a democracy. For most of the nineteenth century, the Vatican viewed modern political ideas - including liberal democracy - as a direct threat to its core doctrines. But there were also Catholic thinkers who agreed with the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville’s insight that, like it or not, democracy’s triumph in the modern world was inevitable. So-called Catholic liberals sought to make democracy safe for religion by properly Christianizing the masses: after all, the reasoning went, a democracy of God-fearing citizens would have a much better chance of succeeding than one whose subjects were secular. Other Catholic intellectuals hoped to keep the people in line through Christian institutions, especially the papacy, which the French thinker Joseph de Maistre envisaged as part of a Europe-wide system of checks and balances“.

Confession is primarily a social institution that produces, distributes and supports in society a certain worldview. The lesson of Western Europe showed that the accelerated reform in the church life, together with the state policy in the spirit of multiculturalism primarily threaten the integrity of societies, erode its structure, dilute the cultural traditions for centuries were spiritual braces in states and regions. Migration from former colonies in Africa and Asia makes modern political processes difficult to predict. Jan-Werner Muller notes, that “yet both as a set of ideas and as a political movement, Christian democracy has become less influential and less coherent in recent years. This decline is due not only to the continent’s secular turn. At least as important are the facts that nationalism - one of Christian Democrats’ prime ideological enemies - is on the rise and that the movement’s core electoral constituency, a coalition of middle-class and rural voters, is shrinking. As the larger project of European integration faces new risks, then, its most important backer may soon prove incapable of defending it” . But nationalism is also a form of self-defense connected with ethnocentrism. So in the case of EU we see a paradoxical process: migrants have provoked the rise of nationalism that is hostile to Christian Democrats and they need to adopt an immigration policy to maintain power. We will see how this battle will be solved in near future.
Therefore, in Russia the preservation of the foundations of traditional religions and support of church institutions from the government is directly related to the interests of political and social stability.

Russian Orthodox Church

Now we will analyze the interaction of church institutions that belong to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), the state government and the masses (Orthodox in Greek means "the path of glory" and refers to the early period of catacomb Christianity. This word has become a narrative not only to Christianity, but also synonymous with conservatism for various religions. For example, you can often find the phrase "orthodox Jew", although Judaism is different religion from Christianity, and during the life of Jesus Christ and his teachings and Judaism is an example of the irreconcilable antagonism). Recently, the relationship of state authorities in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church are the subject of much debate among political scientists, religious scholars and experts in the field of international relations. Often this theme is also used for a variety of speculations and distortions of information, sometimes intentionally and sometimes due to lack of reliable information or unwillingness to understand this complex issue. It is obvious that there is a relationship and interaction of church and state (ROC of the Moscow Patriarchy), including historical, cultural, geopolitical and social factors.

Primarily, this interaction is quite different from the Western experience, as well as from Muslim countries. Although Russia has a plurality of beliefs, it should be noted that among the traditional religions (which include Islam, Buddhism, shamanism and Judaism), Orthodox (Eastern Christianity) is the most powerful and plentiful, although in general, based on the percentage of people who identify themselves as followers of the Moscow Patriarchy we can not to say that now Russia is an Orthodox country because of the separation of church and state. But because in ancient Russia, and later the Russian Empire Orthodoxy was the main religion, it has a certain effect on the perception of Orthodoxy.

In addition, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy has a zone of influence around the world - directly on the territory of the former Soviet Union parishes (temple, infrastructure, as well as parishioners, ie citizens) are widespread in Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, the Baltic countries and Kazakhstan. There are numerous parishes in Western Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America (You can see interactive map of the parishes at .

Historical background

Historically the close relationship between church and state is associated with the Byzantine Empire, and was taken from the idea of the symphony of authorities.

This principle was formulated in the 6th novel of St. Justinian: "The greatest blessings granted to men of high goodness to God, the essence of the priesthood and the kingdom, of which the first (priesthood, church authority) is in taking care of divine affairs, while the latter (kingdom, government) directs in taking care of human affairs, and both starting from the same source, embellishing human life. Therefore, nothing is so much to the heart of kings as the honor of priests, who for their part serve them, praying continuously for them to God. And if priesthood will be well and pleasing to God, and government will manage the state entrusted to it with truth, there will be complete agreement between them in all that is the good and benefit of the human race. And so we make the greatest possible effort to guard the true dogmas of God and honor priesthood, hoping to get through it great blessings from God, and hold fast to those that have. "

Following this rule, the Emperor Justinian in his novels recognized the power of state laws for these canons.

The classic Byzantine formula of relationships between state and church power is in "Epanagoge" (second half of the IX century): "temporal power and the priesthood relate to each other as body and soul, are necessary for public order just as body and soul in a living person . Due to their agreement and connection consists the welfare of a state."

In Russia, not all Byzantine doctrines and ideas have been unconditionally accepted. Especially after the signing of the Union of Florence in 1439 with the Pope and the fall of Constantinople in 1453 in Moscow strengthened the opinion that the Greeks (Byzantines) were punished by God for deviation from the faith, and only in Russia preserved the true faith.

In the early 16th century, monk Philofei from Pskov city in his letters to the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily III expounds the idea of the religious-political mission of Russia, known as the doctrine of the Third Rome. Phiilofei argued that the historical successor to the Roman and Byzantine empires, which had fallen because of deviations from the "true faith" is Muscovy - "the third Rome" ("Two Romes fallen, and the third stands and a fourth will not to be"). This idea resonated among the nobility, and among the commoners. Later this idea was constantly mentioned in the works of Russian philosophers, politicians and thinkers. With particular vigour it was picked up first by Slavophiles and Eurasians, who criticized the Western European culture and offered to reconsider the value of the Mongolian Horde (something by and large true, Eurasians noticed that during the Russian principalities, depending on the Horde, Orthodoxy was not depressed, as in Europe, where people were religious wars, in Russia occurred dawn of religious art, and a number of political technologies were taken from the Mongols and applied in the context of local conditions).

However, interpretation of the symphony of powers led to serious problems, in particular to the schism in 1654-1667 in the Russian Orthodox Church. It started with a general reform of the Church, which is affected by changes in the canons and in an attempt to unify ritual on Greek charter. In addition, Patriarch Nikon was trying to assert his authority over the tsar Alexei Mihayovich that led to a quarrel between the king and the patriarch. As later wrote Catherine the Great - "Nikon wanted to become Pope ... Nikon introduced confusion and division in the domestic peaceful and holistic unified church. To use three fingers during praying forced upon us by the Greeks using curses, torture and executions ... Nikon did Tsar-father Alexei as tyrant and torturer of his own people." (Speech of the Empress Catherine the Great about Old Believers said at the general conference of the synod and the Senate, September 15, 1763).

This schism itself led to the rejection of reforms by the majority of the population of Russia, which has been subjected to repression and persecution. A situation where the power was of New Believers, whereas the basic people at the bottom were supporters of the old rite.

However, when Peter First role of the church itself significantly detracted. Near decrees in the late 17th century monastic property was taken under state control, stopped payment of subsidies. After the death of Patriarch Adrian in 1700 new one was not selected and for his role was appointed locum tenens (Exarch). After some time, was a collegial body, called the Synod. As Peter sympathized with the Protestant religion, it caused a corresponding reaction in the people, and Peter was called the Antichrist.

Interestingly, the attempt to assert the ideal symphony in the new situation when the empire collapsed was made by Local Sobor (Council) in 1917-1918. In the declaration that preceded the relation of Church and State, the requirement for separation of church and state is compared with the wish that "the sun is not shining, and the fire is not warmed. Church by the internal law of its being can not give up calling to enlighten, to transform the whole life of mankind, imbue it with its rays.” In the definition of the Council on the legal status of the Russian Orthodox Church, the State, in particular, encourage the following provisions: "The Russian Orthodox Church, being part of the one Universal Church of Christ, in the Russian State reserves among other confessions predominant public and legal status, as its rightful greatest shrine huge majority of the population and as a great historical power that built the Russian State... Terms and legitimation issued for themselves Orthodox Church established in its order, since the publication of their ecclesiastical authority, power and acts of church government and the court recognized the State of legally binding and value since they not violate state laws ... state laws relating to the Orthodox Church, shall be issued except by agreement with the church authorities. "

Follow Local Sobors (Councils) held in situations when history made it impossible to return to the pre-revolutionary principles of church-state relations. Nevertheless, it was possible to return to the Patriarchy. The actual restoration of the Patriarchy happened in September 1943 by the decision of Joseph Stalin. Patriarch Sergius was elected by Council of Bishops. And Stalin targeting Russian Orthodox Church on the leading role in the acquisition of universal Orthodoxy (ie among other Orthodox churches).

Currently, there are 15 local churches, the number and role of which is significantly different from each other. Nevertheless, the value is the Russian Orthodox Church is really great.

Church in contemporary postmodern Russia

Russian Orthodox Church as an influential social institution has a special role in the formation and development of modern social change in our country. Modern scholars of church-state relations, we have witnessed two counter processes – desecularization of politics and politicization of religion. Power has turned its attention to the positive, unifying role of the Russian Orthodox Church as a vehicle of global values, and the Church has viewed politics as a means to achieve specific social, educational and religious purposes.

After the collapse of the USSR the political situation has changed, and with it, the role of religious organizations. Some time various sects who were alien to traditional Russian culture tried to fill the spiritual vacuum. However, in the process of restructuring of the ROC from times of Yeltsin to Putin’s era by efforts of the different figures of the Moscow Patriarchy were resolved many public, social and political problems.

Today the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy has offices at the United Nations and other international organizations. In Brussels was established office of the Moscow Patriarchy at the European international organizations whose goal is to dialogue with the European Union and other international organizations located in Brussels. In 2004, for the systematic work of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Council of Europe special representative of the ROC in Strasbourg was established. In October 2007 was the official visit of Patriarch Alexy II in PACE, where he addressed the European parliamentarians and outlined in his report the ROC's stance on the issue of human rights awareness, issues of peace and globalization.

ROC actively seek to maintain a dialogue with international organizations as well as the political elite of national states, where there are parishes. Maintaining a dialogue with the outside world is one of the main tasks of the Moscow Patriarchy and the execution of this and the role claimed by the ROC is not possible without the support and close cooperation with the State.

February 29, 2007 President of Russia Vladimir Putin had approved a law giving religious institutions of higher education the opportunity to state accreditation and the right to issue state diplomas. In fact, theological education in Russia was approved at the state level.

November 30, 2010 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the Federal Law "On the transfer of property to religious organizations for religious purposes under state or municipal ownership." After the signing of the law, Patriarch Kirill said that "in the area of church-state relations in Russia there was not a matter of principle, which would contain a kind of conflict between Church and State."

The Church as social institution

At the Council of Bishops in 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a document entitled The Basic Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church. The preamble states that because of the change of political and social life, emergence of significant new problems for the Church in this area, the basis of its social concepts can be developed and improved. Range of topics covered is quite broad - it questions the relationship of the church and the nation, the secular law of the state, labor and property, personal and national, family values and morals, as well as issues of war and crime, the environment, globalization and secularization.
In the section devoted to the nation's noted that "Patriotism of the Orthodox Christian should be active. It manifests itself in defense of the fatherland from the enemy, work for the good of the fatherland, the care order of people's lives, including through participation in the affairs of government. A Christian is called to preserve and develop national culture and national identity... Orthodox ethics is contradict to divide nations into the best and worst and to belittle any ethnic or civic nation. "

The chapter devoted to the relationship between church and state also clarifies the position in relation to the secular authorities.

There it is stated that "the Church as a divine-human organism is not just a mysterious nature to the elements of the world, but also a historical component, comes in touch with the outside world, including the state."

With reference to the teachings of the apostles notes that "Bible calls the authorities of the state to use power for restricting evil and supporting good, in which it sees the moral sense of the existence of the state." The Church not only instructs to its children to obey state authorities, regardless of belief and worship of its carriers, but also to pray for it.

At the same time, Christians should avoid absolutization, to recognize the limits of its purely earthly, temporal and transient value conditioned by the presence of sin in the world and the need to restrain it. According to the teachings of the Church, the government itself shall not be entitled absolutes itself, expanding its borders to complete autonomy from God and established order of things by Him, which can lead to abuse of power, and even to the deification of rulers. The state, like other human institutions, even if aimed at the good, may have a tendency to become self-sufficient institution. Numerous historical examples of this transformation show that in this case the state loses its true purpose.

The Church should not assume the functions of state-owned resistance to sin by means of violence, use of temporal power, taking on the functions of the government, involving coercion or constraint. At the same time, the Church can approach the government with a request or appeal to exercise power in certain cases, yet the decision rests with the state.

The state should not interfere in the life of the Church, its government, doctrine, liturgical life, counseling, and so on, as well as all the activities of the canonical church institutions, except those parties is supposed to operate as a legal entity, to enter into certain relationship with the state, its legislation and governmental agencies. The Church expects that the state will respect her canonical norms and other internal statutes.

Legal sovereignty over the territory of the state belongs to its authorities. Consequently, they determine the legal status of a local church or its part, giving them the opportunity unhampered fulfillment of church mission or restricting such a possibility. State power thus in front of Eternal Truth makes judgment on itself and eventually foretells own fate. Church remains loyal to the state, but above this loyalty is God's commandment to do the work of salvation in any situation and under any circumstances.

If the authority forces Orthodox believers to turn away from Christ and His Church, and to commit sinful and spiritually harmful actions, the Church should refuse to obey the state.

Areas of church-state cooperation in the present historical period are:
a) peacemaking on international, inter-ethnic and civic levels and promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between people, nations and states;
b) concern for the preservation of morality in society;
c) spiritual, cultural, moral and patriotic education and training;
d) charity and the development of joint social programs;
e) preservation, restoration and development of the historical and cultural heritage, including concern for the preservation of monuments of history and culture;
f) dialogue with the public authorities of all branches and levels on issues important for the Church and society, including the development of appropriate laws, regulations, orders and decisions;
g) care of the military and law-enforcement agencies and their spiritual and moral education;
h) works on crime prevention, care of persons in detention;
i) science and research;
j) Health;
k) culture and arts;
l) work of ecclesiastical and secular media;
m) preservation of the environment;
n) economic activity for the benefit of the Church, the state and society;
o) support for the family, motherhood and childhood;
p) opposition to the activities of pseudo-religious structures that pose a threat to individuals and society.
As we can see, the scope of the church is quite broad and it helps to the state to cover a variety of social strata and play the role of facilitator and regulator on various issues. As says themselves representatives of the Church, "today there are opportunities for cooperation between church and state to improve the social situation of different categories of the population through coordinated work of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including religious ones. This family support, healthy lifestyle, preservation and development of the system of values, which ensures the continuity of generations and the social world. "

Church as civil society

Church can also be seen as civil society, because its parishioners - people who are citizens of different states. And since Moscow is the headquarters of the Patriarchy, Russia is also associated as the keeper of spiritual traditions. Naturally Russian citizens are actively involved in the activities of their communities and the various structures under the auspices of the Moscow Patriarchy.

Article 18 of the Federal Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations" gives the Church the right to carry out charitable activities, both directly and through the establishment of charitable organizations. The main feature of such organizations should be non-profit nature of the activity, which is consistent with the spirit of sacrificial love.

Thus, the Church can carry out social activities as completely independently and in partnership with government agencies and institutions.
Because civil society is often perceived as protection of rights and freedoms, we should to analyze this topic carefully.

Specific areas of cooperation between the Church and the State in ensuring human rights outlined in the Declaration of Human Rights and Dignity adopted by X World Russian People's Sobor (Council). It notes: "this cooperation should be the preservation of the rights of nations and ethnic groups in their religion, language and culture, defending religious freedom and the rights of believers to their lifestyle, confrontation to crimes on ethnic and religion issues, protection of the individual from the tyranny of the authorities and employers, care of the rights of military, protection of the rights of the child, taking care of people who are in prison and social institutions, the protection of victims of destructive cults, preventing total control over the privacy and human beliefs, opposition to the involvement of people in the crime, corruption, slave trade, prostitution, drug abuse and gambling."

In recent years, their readiness to cooperate with NGOs government agencies, local authorities and commercial companies increased. "The number of tenders and proposals to address the financing of social projects in Russia is growing from year to year, they are becoming more sophisticated, not only focused on a particular aspect of social life, but also on the selection of the best partners in terms of effectiveness and efficiency of resource use. For example, Moscow Charity Council for several years using such criteria for the selection of recipients of budget funds as achievable and measurable planned results, the economic efficiency of projects, etc. Organizations that can not imagine having a successful experience, describe the expected result, offer a reliable measuring instruments to assess the impact on the situation in the society and the economic efficiency of the chosen approach, can hardly expect to receive funds from budget of state."

Institutions of civil society in Russia enjoy the greatest confidence is the Church - 43% committed to it versus 4% of Russians skeptics. Human rights, charity (humanitarian), environmental, women's organizations, trade unions and political parties rely only 17%, 16%, 12%, 10%, 8% and 3% of respondents, and do not trust - 4%, 5%, 5%, 5 %, 13% and 23% respectively. Young people who are involved in their activities are more loyal to institutions of civil society."

Assuming that the church is the civil society that actively defends its position, it is necessary to note a number of areas in which work Orthodox organization. Based on the tenets, as well as oral and written traditions of Russian Orthodoxy, you can call this catechetical activity, responding to the challenges of globalization. In Russia, there are some basic movements that wary perceive the innovations. Attempts to implement e-government and related services are treated as a seal of the Antichrist. Hence arose the resistance of obtaining an individual tax identification number (TIN), and everything that is connected with the electronic document. Juvenile justice is also perceived as a destructive process, aimed at the destruction of traditional family relationships. In Russia on the basis of Orthodox organizations also emerged a powerful movement against the gay lobby in Russia. Under public pressure, attempts to hold a gay parade in Moscow were banned by the authorities. GMO products - another aspect that is under scrutiny of the Orthodox community. In Russia, there are also alternative food production, which are the target group of the Orthodox population (the focus is not only on the type of organic food production, but also the relation of this product with any monastery or charities).

Some major civic associations although in form are not Orthodox, but in essence have a strong connection with the Church and the Russian Orthodox tradition. The most striking example is the Russian Cossacks, which is active in a variety of activities (from the protection of temples and monasteries to educational institutions and folk ensembles).

Importantly, the active actions of the U.S. and its satellites, in any way affect the interests of Russia are positioned as an attempt of Antichrist to destroy the last bastion of Christianity and the sign of the final times. A problem occurring within the United States and the EU is uniquely evaluated as a punishment for the Lord to the people of these countries. Supranational institutions such as the WTO, World Bank, IMF, NATO, Bilderberg club and others are called not only Masonic but frankly satanic projects that are created for the destruction of nations and states, and their activities bring Armageddon. Meanwhile, Russia is seen as a country Katekhon (Holding in Greek language) which holds away the coming of the Antichrist. And in the final battle at the Second Coming of Christ Russia will be the bastion for forces of good against the forces of evil, by which often refers to the United States, Great Britain, Israel, globalism, Zionism and the West in general. Interestingly, that position of Muslims in Russia on this point is similar. And often the prominent figures of Islam outside Russia also claim that true Muslims should support Russia and to unite with it against Dajjal.

Church as the cultural matrix

The Russian Orthodox Church can also be regarded as a treasure trove of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Many temple complexes in Russia are protected as heritage under the UNESCO. There are funds of icons, books and church items that are assessed as cultural relics. Singing traditions and spiritual verses (especially among the Old Believers) are also unique spiritual monuments of Orthodox culture, which is transmitted from generation to generation.

Domestically, organized tours to famous historical sites associated with Church activities. From abroad come a lot of pilgrims to visit the holy places. You can also note the special missions related to bringing religious shrines to Moscow and other Russian cities from other countries (mostly from Greece). During these ceremonies of shrine visitation, they always have large numbers of people who come to worship from different cities. Festivals are also held on Orthodox commemorative dates or related (eg, family traditions). In July 2014 in Sergiev Posad city near Moscow was a festival dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the birth of Russian saint Sergius of Radonezh. This saint is known for having blessed Dmitry Donskoy and his army into battle with an army of Mamaia in September 1380 (Kulikovo Field, now a district of the Tula region). It is believed that this battle has begun strengthening Russian statehood, and previously scattered principalities began to unite under the Moscow principality, to stand together against external aggression.

These events may also be regarded as a political mobilization of citizens, since they are aimed at maintaining intragroup solidarity, promote information exchange among members of the Russian Orthodox Church and the common positions on various issues, including related to the state's domestic and foreign policy.
In schools, the young are taught the basics of theology, which will create at an early age a positive attitude towards religious cultures and traditions of Russia.

Political conflicts into religious dimension

Recently, with the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church, it has been associated with a number of conflicts and scandals.

February 21, 2012 members of the libertarian band Pussy Riot, known of provocations, committed performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in front of the altar. Church leaders saw this act as a shame with elements of blasphemy (according to church regulations women are forbidden to climb on the platform in front of the altar), and by the secular authorities qualified as hooliganism. After the arrest of two suspects and investigative procedures, the Western media began to accuse Russia of violating human rights, the pursuit of creative artists, concluding that the Kremlin is to blame for everything, and the tandem of church and state is nothing short of a symbiosis of totalitarianism. Parallel to this, there were articles criticizing the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill directly. Known and no less radical actions of the Ukrainian group “Femen” (they were mostly on the territory of Ukraine and Western Europe) against the Russian Orthodox Church and Christianity in general.

These incidents have caused a debate in the community of experts and prompted a number of church activists to lobby for the introduction of a bill to ban anti-religious actions (which included not only Christians but also Muslims and members of other religions).

The law was passed by the State Duma, which caused another criticism from domestic and Western liberals.

Another type of conflict is linked to the coup d'etat in February 2014 in Ukraine and subsequent pressure on the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church there with the new authorities and Ukrainian nationalist organizations. Ukraine is the second largest number of parishes after Russia. Naturally, the Ukrainian nationalists are interested in capturing the property or transfer clergy of the Moscow Patriarchy into Kiev Patriarchy (Kiev Patriarchy is not legally recognized by the World Orthodoxy, consisting of 15 local churches, but in fact there are temples in Ukraine, called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church).

In 2011 in Ukraine there were 12,043 parishes, 186 monasteries and 9680 clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church. For example - in Russian there is 17,042 parishes, 499 monasteries and 18,732 clergy (statistics for 2013). Now Ukraine representatives of the Moscow Patriarchy are under intense political pressure, and the Patriarch was forced to cancel several trips even in this country. It should be noted that in Western Europe there is a dichotomy seen in the political activity: among Ukrainians who want temples of the Greek Catholic Church pronounced anti-Russian in a propaganda campaign and, while in the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church, they are not trying to affect policy issues with respect to Ukraine and have limited themselves to calls to establish a peaceful dialogue, to stop the fratricidal war and conduct prayers for the bringing of peace (In Ukraine, the leadership of the Greek Catholic Church was seen as anti-Russian propaganda and even incitement to violence. Particularly active propagandists are priest Michael Arsenitch and bishop Boris Gudziak).

Recently, the Russian Orthodox Church is an important subject of informational, social, cultural and economic policy in Russia and abroad. On the other hand - is an object of attention, and often criticized by the liberal institutions, many of which are openly anti-clerical. Among many such institutions and foreign actors - from the media to prominent politicians. Obviously, strengthening the position of the Russian Orthodox Church is always a fierce (and often unjustified) criticism from its side.
At the same time the relationship between church and state in the country, a number of reforms and laws aimed at strengthening the Russian identity and contribute to the consolidation of the part of civil society, which does not accept the liberal pseudo-values and aggressive influence of foreign actors. The Russian Orthodox Church supported by a certain constant segment of civil society, which can be called conservative, various media, representatives of science, culture and art.
The church also has been active in the international arena, and its members are closely watching world politics and helping to develop a position on certain issues, which is both an internal cross-cultural factor, and an important element of public diplomacy.