Nikita Vlasov: religious traditions help people of different states to maintain ties
Except for Ukraine, there is a positive trend in relations between the authorities and local Orthodox churches in the post-Soviet space, the analyst of news agency Vestnik Kavkaza, Nikita Vlasov, told in the National Question program on Vesti.FM.
First of all, he drew attention to the reaction of the Belarusian Orthodox Church to the formation in Kiev of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine. “After the election of Epiphanius Dumenko, the head of the new ‘autocephalous church’ in Kiev, the representatives of the Belarusian Orthodox Church immediately stated that there was absolutely no interest in receiving autocephaly either in the church or among the believers. The same position was confirmed at the state level. President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly expressed gratitude to the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill, in particular, for the efforts being made to harmonize both interethnic and interfaith relations in the neighbouring countries and abroad, ”the analyst recalled.
“Moldova adheres the same position. The Orthodox Church of Moldova, which is an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the people of the country, demonstrate a desire to preserve unity with the Russian Orthodox Church,” Nikita Vlasov added.
“In the Caucasus, we can observe an interesting situation. As in a country in which Orthodoxy is recognized as the main state religion, Georgia believes that it has a special historical responsibility for all the issues relating to the fate of Orthodoxy. In this context, despite the complex relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, the Georgian Orthodox Church rather delicately approached the issue of independence of the Ukrainian church, refusing to recognize the autocephaly, which demonstrates the Georgian church’s understanding of the current situation and the reluctance to spawn even more differences in both secular and religious circles of the post-Soviet countries, ”he said.
“In general, the situation with the Orthodox population in the above-mentioned countries is fairly stable. Common religious traditions help peoples of various states to maintain ties and even strengthen cooperation despite existing conflicts. Therefore, if we are talking about the Orthodox population, the citizens of Georgia, Moldova or any other post-Soviet country often do not even think about the national issue precisely because of the historically established religious contacts, ” Nikita Vlasov concluded.