When religious/atheist conflicts get out of hand...

The Man

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Jul 2011
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Just heard from an old friend in my home town in Russia. Apparently, some atheist, socialist activists (Russian Federation of Socialist Youth) had a meeting on the beach nearby. Naturally, they had their posters and such, many of those being anti-Church, anti-religion in general.

Now, this town I come from, it is very religious. Like, hard line Orthodox Christian. Women with headscarves and all that


This atheist get together was, apparently, done with government permission. But when locals heard of it, and there were text messages flying around that "The atheists want to invade us, they want to convert our children", it riled everyone up. Long story short, several dozen local men went down there, and confronted the atheists, told them to leave. The atheists refused, said they had permission to be there. There was a scuffle, which turned into an all out brawl. More locals arrived, to the point where it was about 500 of them vs about 200 of the atheists.

20 people were hurt, including 6 of the locals. One of the atheists had his head busted open with a rock... Local police had arrested 15 people, all of them from among the atheists. Did not touch any of the locals, naturally.

It is both interesting frightening to observe, this growing conflict in Russia, between the religious and the atheists. In February, was a massive fight between Orthodox nationalists and atheist socialists in Saint Petersburg. In Moscow, a priest was beaten up on a late suburban train by supposedly young atheist activists; and then, later, in April, two anti-Church activists also in Moscow were attacked and stabbed by youths who, it later came out, were in seminary Sunday school. Etc. Some politicians worry about threat from Muslim fanatics, but there is a threat of very real civil war growing inside the Slavic population, between the hard line religious and the extreme atheists. Right now, there are more athiests in Russia then religious Orthodox people. About 60,000,000 atheists vs. maybe 35,000,000 truly believing Orthodox Christians (I only count those who actually go to church and all). But as you can see in the photo, Orthodox families are much larger then those of atheists



Eventually, the balance of demographic power will shift. Probably sooner then later.
 
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The Man

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Already, there was the first ever Orthodox Christian fashion show held in Moscow, where religious women learned how God would like them to dress


And in many large cities, you can now find new boutiques that cater to women of faith
 

The Man

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Political leaders now find it increasingly necessary to make regular appearances in church, as being religious is starting to carry more and more weight in society

I like the boy facepalming Medvedev lol Anyway, I think we will see more conflict and violence in Russia in the coming years, and not necessarily between different ethnic groups, but within the Slavic population. The atheists won't be pushed to the bottom without a fight. They have plenty of violent extremists of their own...
 
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Nov 2008
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Thanks for sharing this story about Russia. I worked with a Christian ministry called Agape Force back in the early 80's in the Pacific Northwest and meant a man that was going to Russia as a missionary. At that time Christianity was suppressed in Russia and the missionaries goal was to spread the gospel . Your story makes me feel like the work of the missionary and many others help make the gospel more open in that country. China is having a similar experience in their country now where Christianity was once suppressed and now its becoming more excepted on a limited basis. This is really good news
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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Thanks for sharing this story about Russia. I worked with a Christian ministry called Agape Force back in the early 80's in the Pacific Northwest and meant a man that was going to Russia as a missionary. At that time Christianity was suppressed in Russia and the missionaries goal was to spread the gospel . Your story makes me feel like the work of the missionary and many others help make the gospel more open in that country. China is having a similar experience in their country now where Christianity was once suppressed and now its becoming more excepted on a limited basis. This is really good news
Well, what is funny is that those missionaries are probably not so welcome there anymore. Sure, they, as you say, helped revive Christianity in the 80s. But now, Patriarch Kirill

and the Orthodox Church has firmly taken the reigns, and it does not want any foreign interference and competition.

The Church is everywhere now, be it in the military


or in schools


The Church has this kind of power over its adherents


But it will only keep this power if it does not have to compete with other churches (as for Muslim and Buddhist establishments, they and the Orthodox have all sorts of agreements about not stepping on each others' toes, so, no problems there).
 

The Man

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Frankly, the most interesting place in Russia, religion wise, is Marks, Saratovskaya oblast. It was founded in 1765, but not, of course, named for the founder of Communism yet then lol It was founded by Germans, German farmers, who were invited to settle in the Volga region by Empress Ekaterina II 'The Great' (in the West you call her Catherine), who herself was ethnically German, and named after her: Jekaterinenstadt. Later renamed after Marx by the Bolsheviks. Today, it has a population of about 40,000 people, majority are Volga Germans, and there are small Russian and Muslim (Tatar mostly) minorities. Today, there is a movement to rename the city back into Jekaterinenstatd, or Yekaterininshtad as we Russians call it in our horrible broken German. :highly_amused:

Marks has

Orthodox church


Catholic church
 

The Man

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Lutheran church


Mormon church (believe it or not... probably the only one in Russia thus far)


Mosque


and a Synagogue


It is probably most religiously diverce town in the country...
 
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kmiller1610

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Mar 2007
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Already, there was the first ever Orthodox Christian fashion show held in Moscow, where religious women learned how God would like them to dress
We could always study Lady Ga Ga and Madonna and Beyonce to figure out how to dress our children. Oh wait, we are already doing that aren't we? It's culture and it's a culture war.
 
Nov 2008
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Washington state
Lutheran church


Mormon church (believe it or not... probably the only one in Russia thus far)


Mosque


and a Synagogue


It is probably most religiously diverce town in the country...
Interesting. I didn't realize that there was so many denominations there. They take a lot of pride in building nice looking churches. I noticed everyone has a metal fence around the outside. I noticed the one picture of the military with religious figure. Would this be a religious meeting where Bible study is taught? Interested in the classroom as well.