Russian Church worried about pagans

The Man

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Specifically - in the military and sports:



Russia’s athletes and military personnel are increasingly turning to ancient pagan beliefs, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has warned.

The Orthodox church, a strong conservative force closely allied to the Kremlin, has expanded its presence in the Russian military with specially trained priests who are attached to individual units. The patriarch’s words are the latest volley in the church’s long battle against paganism, a tribal pre-Orthodox belief system.

“The church’s inaction often turns the promotion of a healthy lifestyle into a revival of pagan cults, including a pagan attitude toward the human body,” Patriarch Kirill said at a patriarchal commission on sports this week.

The Orthodox leader said the church initially dismissed reports of pagan beliefs among athletes as a one-off, but grew alarmed after “a large body of information was collected” indicating the popularity of pagan ideas among athletes and special-forces troops.

Patriarch Kirill said “defenders of the fatherland, especially those who participate in dangerous military operations, need spiritual support,” warning that “nothing good will come” of the new trend towards paganism.

“Man cannot turn into an animal. That’s what always distinguished an Orthodox warrior from a pagan one,” Patriarch Kirill said.
Russian Special Forces Are Turning to Paganism, Church Warns

Well, I know that the boxer Aleksandr Povetkin is a pagan

Axe of Perun (ancient Slavic God of Thunder, kinda like their Thor) is on his neck, and the symbol of Svarog (the supreme God, the Slavic answer to Odin or Zeus; the God of the Sun, or of the "Fire of the Sky") tattooed on his biceps there.

He does not hide it, never did, always talks about his beliefs openly.

The Old Gods must truly help him, because Povetkin really is a hell of a fighter

:D

One can also sometimes see neo-pagan symbols on the helmets of elite special forces troops

(Yes, the Slavs had the swastika loooong before the damn Germans turned it into something nasty lol)

The old religion has indeed reemerged among the Slavic population since the end of the Soviet era

Nobody knows how many neo-pagans there are in Russia today, but estimates as high as over 2 million people (!) have been quoted, which would make it now the number three religion in Russia after Orthodoxy Christianity (about 90 million), and Islam (up to 20 million), and on par with Buddhism, who also have about 2 million adherents.

And celebrities, like Povetkin, embracing and promoting the traditional faith, understandably worries the Church, because they fear the truth, which may emerge, the truth about how Russia became Orthodox in the first place. Which is that Tsar Vladimir I, the first Orthodox Tsar, who then baptized the whole nation, and to whom couple years ago they put up a grand new monument near the Kremlin

he didn't bring Russia to Orthodoxy in some peaceful and loving ways. Rather, his newly Christianized army spread the faith around the land by sheer terror, by sword and fire, killing anyone who refused to convert. As simple as that. Countless pagans died simply defending their villages and their temples from this Orthodox Crusade. Women were raped and murdered en masse. Children slaughtered alongside parents. People forced into rivers and other bodies of water by the soldiers' spears thrust into their backs. THAT is how Russia became Orthodox. That is a fact, one that the Church, today, does NOT want to come up in conversation.

It was the new Orthodox Russians who were the "animals" back then, contrary to what the Patriarch now claims...
 
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Some paganism seems to be gaining in the west too. But then the Church is seen as pagan by modern humanists. Spiritual voids want to be filled, like soldiers adopting odin or housewives playing at witches.
 
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The Man

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Some paganism seems to be gaining in the west too. But then the Church is seen as pagan by modern humanists. Spiritual voids want to be filled, like soldiers adopting odin or housewives playing at witches.
I think it's kinda cool.

The Old Slav Gods are fucking badass

especially Perun

Try nailing that dude to a cross :D Now THAT is a warrior faith... No wonder soldiers and professional fighters are re-embracing it haha

It all does look very similar to the Norse/Viking mythology, Odin, Thor, Loki, etc, precisely because, as I wrote before, early Russians were the product of mixing of Varyangian Vikings with Northern Slavic tribes, and that also resulted in a mixing of cultural and religious traditions :)
 
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Christianity has been fearful of Pagans since it was first made the state religion of Rome. I don't doubt that the Orthodox are no different.
 
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Well, the pagan Romans DID throw them into pits with lions first haha

Christianity is a perversion of Judaism that incorporated the Pagan rituals and Mystery Religion concepts that were prevalent at the time of it's founding.
 

The Man

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Christianity is a perversion of Judaism that incorporated the Pagan rituals and Mystery Religion concepts that were prevalent at the time of it's founding.
It's amazing that it has spread, in it's various denominations, all around the world, as it did. Partly, of course, thanks to Roman and later Russian imperialism and European colonialism...
 
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It's amazing that it has spread, in it's various denominations, all around the world, as it did. Partly, of course, thanks to Roman and later Russian imperialism and European colonialism...

Something had to fill the void, I suppose. People want religion, for some reason.
 
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Some paganism seems to be gaining in the west too. But then the Church is seen as pagan by modern humanists. Spiritual voids want to be filled, like soldiers adopting odin or housewives playing at witches.
I am baffled as to what you mean by the bolded remark. Would you care to elaborate on that thought?
 
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I am baffled as to what you mean by the bolded remark. Would you care to elaborate on that thought?

I suspect that the comment represents a misunderstanding of the word "Pagan". I agree that there has long been a desire prevalent within human societies for some form of spirituality, but "Pagan" is not simply a "dirty word". It refers to animistic religious beliefs that existed in the European countryside prior to the introduction of Christianity. Paganism was the religion of the common people. Christianity was a religion of Kings and hierarchical societies.
 
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