“Establishing an Orthodox militia will lead to civil war”

“Establishing an Orthodox militia will lead to civil war”


Recently the head of the movement Holy Russia, Ivan Otrakovsky, stated that Orthodox groups together with the police will start to patrol the streets of the capital to prevent the violation of Christian holy places. Otrakovsky urged “all Orthodox people to organize groups for patrolling the territory of Russia.” The Moscow authorities stand against the initiative. The head of the capital department on regional security, Alexei Mayorov, reminded that Russia is a multi-confessional state and establishing an Orthodox militia may lead to violence..

Human rights ombudsmen Vladimir Lukin called Otrakovsky’s idea “an awful suggestion,” because “in our society the “poison” of intolerance and cruelty toward people, confessions, nationalities, and ethnic groups is spreading more and more.”


Lukin notes a social tendency of not discussing the problem, but “biting” each other: “It is a so-called heroic consciousness, or medieval consciousness. It is advanced today, while more rational modern reflecting consciousness falls behind. Dialogue instincts pale into insignificance, while instincts of fight go forward. It is very dangerous. As for Orthodox militia, our country has seen too many examples of various enthusiast groups which oppressed other enthusiasts and it led to civil wars. All of them were bold believers in the fact that their truth is the best truth, and it led to mutual destruction and fratricide. Or do we need international examples? For instance, Lebanon? Now Syria joins Lebanon. In Germany the darkest pages of the 20 century first half’s history started from establishing of such enthusiast groups in brown shirts which were opposed by enthusiasts in red shirts.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” describes brightly the history of Columbia – a beautiful country where everything developed like in other countries. A political party of liberals appeared which defined liberty as the top value. A political party of conservatives appeared which defined religious Christian Catholic values as the top value. Later the Lefts appeared who believed that social justice was the top value. Along with these parties not in the city, but in mountains militarized groups existed. And each of them was controlled by this or that party. It led to the tragedy of the country for many decades and even centuries. The so-called ‘violencia,’ i.e. violence, became a trademark of Columbia. God save us from repeating this experience! We are told these Orthodox groups will be peaceful and won’t use force. I bet they will! We historians know well that peaceful groups always have dusters and so on. A small part of these peaceful groups will be radical. And it will lead to sad consequences.

As for militants, people who have taken armament should realize that if they take it, it will be used against them. It is obvious. The other case is that people who probably do not relate to militants often are lost in these regions. There are many serious problems. Human rights activists pose an adequate question on that the authorities which has a monopoly for using armament must use this right very carefully. I understand perfectly people, including the police and law-enforcement agencies’ officers who suffer from terrorist attacks. Sometimes their relatives suffer from bandits. I understand their feelings. However, the authorities are authorities. They act on behalf of the state. They should behave within the law limits, only in this case violence can be defeated. Moreover, there are problems with correlation between the militant problem and the confessions problem. For example, our investigation bodies provide such a tendency – they burrow into various ancient religious texts and find there provisions which, as they say, encourage terrorist activities. I find this kind of measures very negative, because you can find anything you want in an ancient text, if you want or if you are pressed. Recently in Tomsk such a procedure was implemented against Hindus. The case excited whole India and led to some difficulties in relations with Deli. I don’t support such searching. I believe we should fight against terrorism, but we should do it against certain terrorist plans and certain terrorist attacks, but not against books.

We have such claims and we try to consider them from the constitutional point of view and equality of confessions. In fact the Constitution requires equality of all confessions before the law in our country. The Law on religious activity states in the preface there are four traditional confessions. But it doesn’t say that they have some advantages over other confessions. And President emphasized it at our meeting. We can discuss how many traditional religions we have. For example, I think Old Believers’ confession is as ancient as the Russian Orthodox Church. But these are technical issues. Both of them have equal rights.”

Commenting for VK possibility of establishing the institute of new envoy on ethnic relations in Russia, Vladimir Lukin stated that “if segmental envoys bring any advantage to a normal law civilized development of our country, I welcome the idea. I cannot say that the institute of ethnic relations ombudsman will be beneficial. I feel embarrassed that every week an idea of establishing a new ombudsman on a new branch is proposed. Ahead of my meeting with President the idea on the ethnic relations’ ombudsman appeared and I didn’t know what to think. It’s like a joke about a man who try to catch a cab. ‘Are you a cab?’ – ‘You need a drive or a taxi license?’ – ‘I prefer a drive.’ Appearance of such ideas means weakness of our unions because they should deal with many problems in segments. So let’s focus on ‘a drive’, rather than on ‘a license’.”

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