Politics of religion

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Great artwork I came across


This depicts a scene from 1000 years ago. Various religious envoys have arrived to see Tsar Vladimir I, the leader of the ancient Rus, the ancestors of modern Russians and Ukrainians. You have there Muslim delegates from the East; Catholic from the West; and Orthodox Christian Greeks, as well as even Jewish representatives from the South. Vladimir had just decided that it is time his people abandoned their archaic (in his opinion) traditional Slavic pagan beliefs. And so he was shopping around for a new religion for them lol

He would, of course, end up choosing the Orthodoxy


Multiple reasons behind that.

The Muslims got rejected basically straight away, when they told Vladimir that the Rus would have to give up alcohol and pork, to join their faith lol That shit just wasn't gonna happen :D

The Jews left empty-handed for same reason too, I believe (the Rus liked their pork even more than their booze hehe)

The Catholics made the fatal mistake of telling Vladimir he would have to essentially show reference to their Pope and recognize that one's supreme authority. No Tsar of Rus ever bowed to an outsider, period...

The Greeks, meanwhile, the Byzantines, had, for one, already an established cordial relationship with Vladimir's family.

His grandmother, the mighty Grand Princess Olga

She became first ever female ruler of the Rus, after her husband, Prince Igor, fell in battle (and she avenged him brutally, essentially wiping out the enemy nation, called Drevlyane, who had killed him, to the point that no historical record is left of those people, whoever they were...)

She is also remembered as one who established an alliance between the Rus and the Byzantine Empire, a great superpower of it's day; she was the first Rus royal to convert to Orthodox Christianity by the Greeks

She only converted HERSELF, privately, but did not force the rest of the nation into it :)

Vladimir, her beloved grandson, simply finished that job for her lol

The Greeks, of course, in turn, offered lucrative trade deals and military defense pacts and whatnot; and the wise SOBs also threw Vladimir (a young and horny guy still then hehe) an added sweet bonus - their gorgeous Princess Anna for his bride ;)


And thus, the Rus became Orthodox, and not always peacefully either, plenty refused to convert and Vladimir had to send troops to force them to, by sword and fire

Loads and loads of blood flowed back then. Even today, the modern Russian Orthodox Church goes out of their way to suppress any information coming out about how the Christianization of the ancestral Rus REALLY went down...

This is why, honestly, I have long been cynical about organized religion. I think it is simply a political ideology, like any other, and another instrument of power of the elites over the plebes. And little more than that...

If you believe truly in something, you don't need some guy in a frock to tell you about it...
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
50,203
38,294
Toronto
A guy at my church said, "If you want to understand world history, study church history."
Very true...

And this history remains relevant to this day, in plenty of places, too.

Even looking at the conflict over Crimea, between modern Russia and Ukraine, as they also grapple over the legacy of St. Vladimir, which both claim ownership of



In Crimea, which, in those days, was controlled by the Greeks/Byzanties, there is a place called Khersones, this is where both Olga and Vladimir were baptized into Orthodoxy back then, St. Vladimir Cathedral stands there now, and it is a big piligrimmage spot for believers from all over ex-USSR, who believe the waters there are holy and so flock to those beaches for a swim

It was vital for the Russian Church to gain hold of Khersones, it has given them a huge ideological advantage over rivals in Ukraine... Think of the influence the Saudis enjoy in the Muslims world, due to their ownership of Mecca. Kinda like that...

Thus, the Past affecting the Present and probably at least the foreseeable future too...
 
Jan 2007
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Irrelevant
Great artwork I came across


This depicts a scene from 1000 years ago. Various religious envoys have arrived to see Tsar Vladimir I, the leader of the ancient Rus, the ancestors of modern Russians and Ukrainians. You have there Muslim delegates from the East; Catholic from the West; and Orthodox Christian Greeks, as well as even Jewish representatives from the South. Vladimir had just decided that it is time his people abandoned their archaic (in his opinion) traditional Slavic pagan beliefs. And so he was shopping around for a new religion for them lol

He would, of course, end up choosing the Orthodoxy


Multiple reasons behind that.

The Muslims got rejected basically straight away, when they told Vladimir that the Rus would have to give up alcohol and pork, to join their faith lol That shit just wasn't gonna happen :D

The Jews left empty-handed for same reason too, I believe (the Rus liked their pork even more than their booze hehe)

The Catholics made the fatal mistake of telling Vladimir he would have to essentially show reference to their Pope and recognize that one's supreme authority. No Tsar of Rus ever bowed to an outsider, period...

The Greeks, meanwhile, the Byzantines, had, for one, already an established cordial relationship with Vladimir's family.

His grandmother, the mighty Grand Princess Olga

She became first ever female ruler of the Rus, after her husband, Prince Igor, fell in battle (and she avenged him brutally, essentially wiping out the enemy nation, called Drevlyane, who had killed him, to the point that no historical record is left of those people, whoever they were...)

She is also remembered as one who established an alliance between the Rus and the Byzantine Empire, a great superpower of it's day; she was the first Rus royal to convert to Orthodox Christianity by the Greeks

She only converted HERSELF, privately, but did not force the rest of the nation into it :)

Vladimir, her beloved grandson, simply finished that job for her lol

The Greeks, of course, in turn, offered lucrative trade deals and military defense pacts and whatnot; and the wise SOBs also threw Vladimir (a young and horny guy still then hehe) an added sweet bonus - their gorgeous Princess Anna for his bride ;)


And thus, the Rus became Orthodox, and not always peacefully either, plenty refused to convert and Vladimir had to send troops to force them to, by sword and fire

Loads and loads of blood flowed back then. Even today, the modern Russian Orthodox Church goes out of their way to suppress any information coming out about how the Christianization of the ancestral Rus REALLY went down...

This is why, honestly, I have long been cynical about organized religion. I think it is simply a political ideology, like any other, and another instrument of power of the elites over the plebes. And little more than that...

If you believe truly in something, you don't need some guy in a frock to tell you about it...
Very interesting.

What is the timeline for these events? As I understand it, from the 4th century onwards, the patriarchate of constantinople was under the jurisdiction of the bishopric of rome. There was a 'breaking of ties' resulting from the 4th crusades around the beginning of the 13th century.

As for the thread topic, I have stated numerous times in the past that an organized religion, or church, is indeed a political entity.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
50,203
38,294
Toronto
Very interesting.

What is the timeline for these events? As I understand it, from the 4th century onwards, the patriarchate of constantinople was under the jurisdiction of the bishopric of rome. There was a 'breaking of ties' resulting from the 4th crusades around the beginning of the 13th century.

As for the thread topic, I have stated numerous times in the past that an organized religion, or church, is indeed a political entity.
The Christening of the Rus took place in year 1016. In 2016, Russia, Ukraine, and also Belarus all held big ceremonies to mark the millennium anniversary :)

To be honest, my own historical knowledge of that period, and especially of the history of Constantinople/Byzantium, is rather limited and rusty.

But, I do also know that, aside from the Orthodox faith, the Greeks also brought the Slavs something else - their new written alphabet, based on the Greeks' own and invented by a couple Greek Orthodox monks who travelled around Eastern Europe as missionaries back then - Cyril and Methodius. But, I guess, Cyril did most of the work, and thus got most of the credit lol Hence - Cyrillic :D

They are, of course, Saints now, both of em
 
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