Talk:Russian Orthodox Church

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Church of Christ the Savior, Moscow - Destruction[edit]

To add history to latest edit exchange regarding the picture showing the church being blown up - Stalin gave the order to have the church eliminated. Unlike the order to eliminate St. Basil's, this order was carried out. One of the plans at the time was to build a HUGE party headquarters and conference hall edifice with a standing status of Lenin at the top (like the statue of Columbia atop the U.S. Capitol building). It would have been higher than the Kremlin bell tower built by Ivan the Great. According to stories circulating it took more than a simple single explosion sapper effort to take down the church. Of historical curiousity, nothing was ever built on the site other than the Moscow municipal swimming pools. Only thee rebuilding of Christ the Savior Church (at the exact spot and at the exact elevation as the original) resulted in a new building.Moryak (talk) 15:18, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

North America situation[edit]

The first parts of the ROCOR and OCA sections should be merged because it's a common history. Both churches descend from the Russian-Alaska mission. They separated because the Metropolia/OCA recognized the Communist-approved Moscow patriarchs, which the ROCOR regarded as illegitimate. The ROCOR was a much smaller church, so putting it first and also putting the Alaska section with it distorts the relationship between the two.

The OCA and ROCOR also differed on several other issues, with the OCA being distinctly more liberal/modern/Western and the ROCOR more conservative/traditional. The ROCOR was monarchist, considering Tsar Nicholas and his family to be martyrs and saints, and praying for an Orthodox tsar to be restored. The OCA said they were killed mainly for political reasons rather than because of their religion, so they weren't properly martyrs, although I think the unified OCA may now accept them as saints. The ROCOR followed the old calendar, not so much because they cared about the date but because only an Ecumenical Council -- an agreement of all Orthodox churches -- had the right to change the calendar. They had less English in their churches, and were suspicious of "decadant" American ways that were influencing the OCA; e.g., the OCA was less strict about fasting before communion. So it's not surprising that the most extreme parts of the ROCOR refused to unite with the OCA; this is a common event in Orthodoxy, conservative movements breaking away because they consider the mainstream not strict enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sluggoster (talkcontribs) 07:34, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is that common. It's happened about twice in history, once with Old Believers in the 1650s and with the Old Calendarists in the 1920s. ROCOR was more of an Old Calendarist jurisdiction, but they are now in full communion with the "mainstream" Orthodox Church including the "liberal Gregorian Calendar using" OCA and GOARCH. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:44, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Relevant to the North American situation is that OCA and ROCOR do NOT have a common history. OCA traces its history to the Russian Orthodox missions in Alaska and northern California while ROCOR has its roots in the interwar (WW-I - WW-II) Russian emigration. Further, OCA ended up being an autocephalous church in North America while ROCOR viewed itself as a "church-in-exile.Moryak (talk) 16:44, 20 December 2010 (UTC)


The Russian Church numbers over 135 million members world wide, thus making it the third largest local Church after the Rome and the Greek Orthodox Church.

Does anyone know why this was added? The entire population of Greece is only about 10 millions. There can't be more then 5 million or so Greeks that live abroad. Howe can the GOC possibly have a larger membership then the ROC? Sotnik (talk) 04:45, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I guess it might depend on what they meant by the Greek Church. The patriarchs of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria are a lot of times called "Greek Patriarchs," although theoretically they're not. It's still highly unlikely that even these patriarchs amount to half the membership of the Russian Church. I doubt Rome considers itself a local church anymore, since Roman Catholics base their entire catholicity and doctrine on one bishop, besides the fact they're not even part of the same church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Removed Statement[edit]

This statement,

In the words of those who were allowed to view the KGB archives in the early 1990s, the church was "practically a subsidiary, a sister company of the KGB".[1]

is obviously neither factually true or neutral, it also comes close to being bigotry. First, not everyone who had access to the archives shares this point of view. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is an example. As a matter of a fact very few historians would agree with that statement. Second, The Wall Street Journal is neither an authority nor even a neutral source on Russian Orthodoxy.Sotnik (talk) 19:12, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

All you have said above is your personal opinion with no basis in the WP policies -- read Wikipedia:Verifiability. WSJ is considered a reliable source, irrespective of what you think of it.Muscovite99 (talk) 21:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
It is not only my opinion that not everyone who had access to KGB archive support the view presented. If you'd like to provide a source that contradicts that please do, I'd love to see it. WSJ is a newspaper its not a reliable source on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church. Hearsay, even if published in a respected newspaper is never taken as fact. Sotnik (talk) 23:54, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
It's cited and therefore fine. Feel free, Sotnik, to add a sentence afterwards explaining that the ROC collaborated because it felt it had too. If you want. Malick78 (talk) 15:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The Quote above is simply stating the American view. I think it's appropriate to included the view but maybe we could include some counter views.---- Nate Riley 18:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Rather then argue back an forth, I went ahead and reviewed historical literature on the subject. There are a number of books on ROC history that deal with this subject, the ones I found are,
Religion, state, and politics in the Soviet Union and successor states by John Anderson,
The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History by Jane Ellis and
A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy by Nathaniel Davis.
From The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History,
"The people infiltrated by the state, so far as we can tell, are probably not KGB 'agents', i.e. paid professionals secret policemen, but rather people over whom KGB has some kind of hold, and who can be bullied, blackmailed or intimated into compliance with its plant"
From Religion, state, and politics in the Soviet Union and successor states,
"This question of what was actually meant by 'agents' remained problematic, particularly given that the relevant and surviving document were not available to more then a few individuals. After all, virtually everyone the KGB had dealings with was give a codename - form active collaborators to dissidents. This issue was taken up by the independent minded Archbishop Khryzostom of Vilnius and Lithuania, himself not always popular with the authorities during the 1970s. Despite his maverick stance and conflict with the state, Khryzostom said that he had maintained contact with the KGB over eighteen years and these had only cease two years earlier. Throughout these years he had filed reports on foreign trips and his contact with foreigners. This he did deliberately, in order to use his position to build up the church and thus, despite being the possessor of a KGB codename ('Restorer'), Khryzostom maintained that he was never an informer."
Finally from, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy,
There is little doubt that almost all of the bishops were and are believers. they are anguished by their acts of past collaboration, and most are deeply conscious of their sin. Although their attitudes are the old order to some degree, they are not a "Soviet institution".
Further, from the sources provided above, 17. The KGB exploited the Russian Orthodox Church and its officials, including clergy, in furtherance of the missions of the KGB.1.
That's says something completely different from what has been added. Its a well known historical fact that the Soviet government controlled in one way or another every aspect of society. That includes infiltrating and subverting the ROC. The ROC itself has said, it was not free during the Soviet period. All of this has to be made clear in the article. As this section is currently written, its factually false and ridiculous. Another thing that has to be noted is that the ROC openly condemned and condemns the actions of any clergy that have collaborated with the communist government against the Church (for example informants) 1. I will make make these changes shortly. I believe everything I've presented above are facts and I have provided references to works by respected historians and scholars. If anyone disagrees, please provide sources by other scholars (not media, or blogs, etc). Sotnik (talk) 07:22, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

There are significant parts of this article that are quite biased and unnecessary for a quick overview of ROC history. This isn't supposed to be a propaganda piece (for or against, really). There is some very bad grammar, too (like it was written by a Russian with imperfect grasp of the English language). Alexeykh (talk) 23:36, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

More needed about post-Soviet behaviour[edit]

More should be added and perhaps a dedicated page created. For instance, there's nothing about the church's crushing of alternative denominations (such as encouraging the closing of the Salvation Army in the 1990s) and its pampered position as the state's favoured church (ie. customs breaks for importing things). And what about the opposition to Pope John Paul going to Russia and the Ukraine. It should all be covered. Malick78 (talk) 15:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Lately the Western media has delighted in reporting\exaggerating the Russian government's oppression of other religions. First, look to the fact that the Orthodox church was severely persecuted under the Soviets, something that has been conveniently ignored (and sometimes blatantly denied) in recent news reports. Perhaps it ought to be covered, but most of the news reports I have seen on this issue are very biased, and borderline as propaganda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Mabey something about non-religous activity can be put in in a section like this. For example the church has asked the Russian government to allow Ukrainian chemical enterprises to purchase natural gas directly from gas giant Gazprom and other Russian companies today. — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 12:00, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Totally disagree to add irrelevant secular POVs to religious pages, see WP:BIAS. Regards.--GoPTCN 11:42, 4 July 2012 (UTC)--GoPTCN 11:42, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

An update referring to the present era of church building under the Putin era is required here. Acorn897 (talk) 15:17, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

why do you hate japan?[edit]

really why, they have a voice too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican[edit]

The situation between the ROC and the Vatican needs to be addressed. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:12, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

The Difference between Roma and Moskva[edit]

In Roma you bewilder the Church. In Moskva, the Church bewilders YOU! (talk) 01:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Separation of church and state.... Russian Orthodox Church says "Bugger off"?[edit]

Church asks Russian government to let Ukrainian chemical firms buy gas directly from Gazprom. Is this normal behaviour for this church? The Russian Orthodox Church does not agree with the separation of church and state? — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 12:17, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Isn't separation of church and state something found in the US Constitution? I don't know what the Russian one says, but certainly they can petition and intercede (they still don't make the decisions) Alexeykh (talk) 23:41, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

And as usual, Maria-Yulia is pushing her POV on talk pages. Please find a better hobby than posting your Ukraine ultra-nationalism. Regards.--GoPTCN 11:41, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Eastern European calendar: Naming proposal[edit]

On this glorious Easter Tuesday, united around the world, here is an update on the progress of the ballot.

Option 1 - Meletian calendar - 1 vote (recommended option)
Option 2 - New calendar (Eastern churches) - no votes (this option is not recommended)
Option 3 - No change - 2 votes (this option is not recommended)
Option 4 - "Revised" Julian calendar - no votes (this option is not recommended)

To vote by proxy, write QUICKVOTE and sign with four tildes. If you want your proxy to vote in a particular way, add the option number in brackets. Thus QUICKVOTE (1) means your vote will be cast in favour of Option 1.

The tilde is the wavy line ~ sometimes placed above n (in Spanish) or a or o in Portuguese where, following the medieval Latin copyists, it marks the omission of a following letter n.

This is not the place to vote. Click on this link Talk:Revised Julian calendar#Proposal to change article name, read the manifestos and then add your votes underneath the others.

Uma Paschoa muito feliz a todos. O povo unido ja mais sera vencido. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 16:13, 6 April 2010 (UTC).

Pussy Riot and more off limits[edit]

After two days with an "undue weight" template on the Archbishop Kirill section, everything to do with the Pussy Riot performance, trial and conviction was deleted with no discussion on the Talk page here. I reversed the deletion and was in turn reversed. The explanation for the deletion was that the performance and responses to it had nothing to do with the church. That still seems preposterous. Kirill, the current head of the church, whose section of the article the content was in, took an active role in the response to the performance, as per the sources for the material. The template specifically said to "Discuss and resolve" on the Talk page. The reversal of my reversal summarily asserting again no role for the church and said if anywhere the material should be in Kirill's article. But it was in a church building. And he exercises church authority. And the church/state issue left in his section of the church article is explicitly, per the sources, related to the performance and responses to it.

Now the Tolstoy excommunication I'd added was dismissed with "not the only one excomm'd" and "Yahoo's a joke". The prime source was AFP, Agence France Press I assume. Yahoo! (or Google) are just conduits. The writer is filing regularly from Moscow on general news. And Tolstoy's not just anyone, I'd also respond.

Quick report. More probably later. Swliv (talk) 20:54, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

The denomination does not have anything to do with the riots and Tolstoy was not the only one excommunicated. Just putting a one-sentence section about a random excommunication is very poor. Regards.--Kürbis () 21:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

The denomination owns and operates the church, no? And the archbishop works for the denomination, right? I don't get the distinction. Not defending your slur on the source, I guess (now that I've seen that Kürbis is some alternate name for GreatOrangePumpkin who executed all the deletions cited above)? I doubt that the excomm. was random. Would you like it better if I found the five most interesting excomm's? Do you have any leads for me to pursue in that regard? "Poor"? Better than nothing about a spate of excommunications including of one of the great world's authors, I'd say. I'm glad you're discussing this on the talk page, now. Still think your procedure was appropriate?

The other half of your first rationale for deletion was "They also could perform elsewhere". Now you say the denom. has nothing to do with the Riot performance. Are you really saying the choice of the church was random, for the performance? That the archbishop got so worked up -- orchestrating a counter-demonstration of tens of thousands, so it was reported and in Wiki until you deleted it -- over a random trespass? Didn't the performance directly address the church as well as then-PM Putin? (Do I really need to research this for us here?)

You did say "here" in one of your rationales -- to signal you are editing from Russia. I appreciate that long-distance news (Yahoo!, for instance, even Agence France Press) can seem horribly distorted relative to close-up events. I respectfully submit, though, that your dismissive and preemptive attitude and your reliance on deletion rather than improvement or justification via alternative sources makes engagement more difficult. I hope you'll continue to engage. I know I've generated a flurry of questions but I think they're all valid. If you can try to respond, I'd appreciate it. I am trying to understand.

Please pardon me for addressing you directly. Since you're the sole "opposition" here -- and I'm not the only editor to contribute to the deleted chunks -- it's seemed appropriate. I've also now bolstered my first quick entry above (20:54) with a couple of more links+. Cheers. Swliv (talk) 00:31, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Look, imagine you are a clergyman. Now imagine some silly punks perform inside a church; now tell me if the denomination would just ignore it or not? And Tolstoy is not the only one being excommunicated, meaning your one-line sentence is nonsense. Now accept this. Regards.--Kürbis () 07:04, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
And I am editing in Germany, not Russia. Regards.--Kürbis () 07:05, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

The imagination fails me on that one, sorry. Seems clear the denom. did not ignore it, in the person of its archbishop and its/his interlink with the state prosecutor/court. I'm sorry, also, you're not reading my arguments. I do not accept this but I do accept that there's an editor who wants control. "[V]ery poor" has evolved to "nonsense" while ignoring my questions and offers. The banishment of the (side and Riot) fact(s) continue.

I didn't feel that good about my speculation on location. I went from Edit summary comment "yahoo is a joke here" thinking somehow the editor was aware that Yahoo! wasn't doing a good job in Russia. I gave my rebuttal which has been ignored. The fact has been banished. What's after "nonsense" and the imperative? I don't wish to imagine. Cheers. Swliv (talk) 20:27, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

We've got to keep some perspective here. This is an umbrella article about a sizable religious denomination with a history spanning over five hundred years. Because of that we don't add every incident that hits the news in these articles - that would put undue weight to whatever attracts the media's attention today, as opposed to encyclopedic content that will retain its relevance ten, fifty, or a hundred years from now. Thus, this incident cannot be included here because it is too recent and no reliable sources are currently available that would evaluate the significance of its impact on the church and its history. --illythr (talk) 23:21, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Civility of discourse[edit]

Ghirlandajo should refrain from personal invective. The statement made by Fedorov is correct.Moryak (talk) 19:13, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Merge Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Rus' into this article[edit]

The Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Rus' is essentially the same as the Russian Orthodox Church. The patriarchate article was created just a few months ago but as you can see it remains a small stub, roughly translated, containing an infobox that affirms it is the same institution as the Russian Orthodox Church. The article is attempting to duplicated information on the same topic, or near-enough the same topic. -- Peter Talk to me 21:44, 17 October 2012 (UTC):The above message was posted not by User:Peter, but by User:Hazhk

  • The Patriarchate of Moscow is NOT the same as the Russian Orthodox Church since there are independent (autocephalous) portions of the Russian Orthodox Church.Moryak (talk) 17:19, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Also, there is a distinction between the Eastern Orthodox faith and the Patriarchate which is the administrative body. The tow articles should remain separate.Moryak (talk) 17:20, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

what scripture does this church use?[edit]

This would be appropriate under history showing when and what the church adopted, and if there's no article on that scripture and its source, discuss them briefly. Or link to the article. (talk) 12:45, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

  • The Russian Orthodox Church uses the canonical scripture and the (statement of the essential points of faith) Creed, approved and adopted by the Council of Nicea. The Russian Orthodox Church has not made any further scriptural adjustments/changes.Moryak (talk) 17:25, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
User talk:Moryak is correct. Elijah.B (talk) 20:10, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Introduction/Main Beliefs[edit]

I am Not an expert in this subject.

Precisely because of this I wanted to find out what are the core values/beliefs/principles of the Orthodox Church (and in particularly Russian) and yet I DID NOT FIND IT at all in the article.

The BASIC information is lacking from the article. Please add what is what these people believe in and/or what differentiates it from Catholicism/Protestantism etc for example.

Some information like why some priests leave beard (like the muslims and the jewish do) or why thay may leve it is also helpful, albeit for some it may seem "stupid" (it is perhaps stupid), like in other articles about religion, I.E. BUDDHISM, it is/should be explained the reason/explanation for shaving the head, etc ...

THANK YOU — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 23 June 2013 (UTC)


150,000,000 adherents? It's Not True. (talk) 09:49, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

  • 150 millions worldwide isn't that large a number. Where is your data that this is not true?Moryak (talk) 17:16, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry me for my bad english,but i know,not all russians are religious people.Most atheists or agnostics.Talk"150 mln.Adherents" It's Lie. (talk) 00:53, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it really depends on who you consider to be Russian Orthodox. I agree that the numbers may very well be inflated. But like I said it depends what Russian Orthodox means. Many people in Russia claim to be "Spiritual, but not religious". But they may still consider themselves adherents to the Russian Orthodox Church, due to the church being associated with Russian identity. Several different polls suggest several different percentages of Adherents. I would guess, depending on your definition, that there are at least 100 million adherents. With 150 being the max. In any regard, it is still the largest Orthodox church, and it's still the second largest Christian church after the Roman Catholic Church. War3271200 (talk) 06:31, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

When attempting to address the issue of adherents to the Russian Orthodox faith the very important point of religious and cultural differences must be taken into consideration. Anyone trying to determine a number has to contend with two main issues: 1) Whom do you count? 2)How is anyone counted and by whom? Unlike mainstream western Christian churches where it is a normal practice or a requirement of the faith for the great number of adherents to attend services once a week, the Russian Orthodox Church does not have this requirement. Therefore, there is a very large body of Russian Orthodox faithful that do not go to church weekly and many may only attend on days of special commemoration associated with life events or main feasts such as Easter. The answer to the second question - How and by whom? - is affected also by culture and history. The 70+ years of the Soviet experience definitely made anyone's registration as an official member of a specific church congregation totally career and livelihood inhibiting. What you felt in your heart and soul was kept to yourself. Even if the church itself tried to somehow enumerate its membership most knew that it would not be doing its parishioners any favors. A church does not consciously try to harm its adherents. That is why all numbers regarding Russian Orthodox Church adherents are more than likely to be incorrect and attempts to make those numbers "more concrete" are likely doomed to failure from the start.Moryak (talk) 21:49, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Possible copyright problem[edit]

This article has been revised as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. Mkativerata (talk) 21:58, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Born Again. Putin and Orthodox Church Cement Power in Russia. by Andrew Higgins Wall Street Journal Dec 18, 2007.

Just a link for f ref[edit]

Примат и соборность с православной точки зрения: "Русская Церковь стала де-факто автокефальной в 1448 году, когда митрополит Московский был избран без согласия Константинопольского Патриарха (который в то время находился в унии с Римом). Однако лишь в 1589-1593 гг. Восточные Патриархи признали ее автокефалию."Axxxion (talk) 18:56, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Interesting facts[edit]

Difficulty with getting the Russian script (alphabeth) correct in this article[edit]

Very strange: In article Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Russian writing of its name, especially in its second word, "Krista" (or something like that), clearly shows the letter 't' as its one before the last letter. But if I copy exactly that Wikipedia code into this article Russian Orthodox Church -- see my edit in the article, minutes ago -- it gives a totally different result in the screen: something like "Krusma". I don't like that. What is the cause of this mystery, and how do we repair it? (And also the third word comes very distorted on the screen.) Help! --Corriebertus (talk) 13:36, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

That's not an error; it's just the normal italic forms of the Russian letters. The italic forms of и and т are и and т. Disorienting for a user of the Latin alphabet. Confused me the first time I saw it. Probably the Cyrillic shouldn't be italicized, as a non-Latin alphabet: see MOS:ITALICS and scroll down to the section Foreign terms. — Eru·tuon 06:02, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I adapted the article. --Corriebertus (talk) 17:35, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 16:19, 27 February 2016 (UTC)