In Russia, church and military go hand in hand. Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, implicitly supports Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He spouts Kremlin propaganda, claiming that Russia is not the aggressor and that genocide is being perpetrated by Ukrainians against Russian speakers.
Nor is Kirill’s endorsement of this war unique. During his tenure, Russian priests have blessed bombs destined for Syria and Crimea. Bishop Stefan of Klin, who presides over the Cathedral of the Armed Forces, leads the church’s department for co-operation with the army. Before taking holy orders he was an officer in the missile-defense force.
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