Friday, May 12, 2017

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Time reports that Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Moscow, the Orthodox Church's representative abroad, held a private meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at a 'summit' organised by evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy. The theme of the meeting was cooperation with Russia - and Assad - to combat terrorism in the Middle East.

The four-day get-together assembled a notable collection of far-right political and religious figures - but on the Russia issue there were dissenting voices:
Not all evangelical leaders welcome the idea of a partnership with the Russian Orthodox Church—and, by extension, the Russian government. Last summer Russia passed a law that restricted foreign missionary work. In April, the Russian Supreme Court banned Jehovah’s Witnesses. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom then recommended for the first time that Russia be named in the top tier of the worst international religious-freedom offenders. Even on Thursday , during the Washington summit, a Russian blogger was convicted of religious hatred for playing “Pokemon Go” in a Yekaterinburg church.
“To say these are the defenders of Christianity belies credulity,” says former Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann. “It’s bizarre.” Putin’s is a “gospel-fighting regime,” says Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm.
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