Church vows to reject ‘biblical patriarchy’
Orthodoxy, one of the world’s oldest and most venerable religious traditions, is at risk of becoming a political issue in a country whose religious landscape has largely been shaped by one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A conservative Orthodox church in Moscow that is known for its hardline, conservative views has been in talks with an influential conservative political party, which seeks to reverse a recent move to grant women the right to vote.
The talks were held at the church’s church building in Moscow on Thursday, according to a representative for the Orthodox Patriarchate, which represents nearly 10 million Orthodox believers.
The church said it had no plans to comment on the talks, but in a statement on Thursday night, the church expressed “deep concern” over the prospect of a constitutional amendment that would grant women full voting rights.
“If the amendment passes, the Church will not hesitate to reject any political position that contradicts the teachings of God, and will reject any effort to impose gender norms that do not respect the unique nature of the Russian Orthodox Church,” the statement said.
Putin has vowed to strengthen the church and defend its fundamental beliefs against any challenge.
The Russian Orthodox church is the world leader in the Orthodox faith.
In recent years, Putin has strengthened the church in ways that have alienated some followers.
He has been accused of meddling in the elections of 2017, when he won a second term.