Theology, Isaac, Bulgarians: the most important events of religious life of Russia in 2017

© Fotolia / Oxana SavcaРелигии worldTheology, Isaac, Bulgarians: the most important events of religious life of Russia in 2017© Fotolia / Oxana Savca

The passing year was rich in sensations in the sphere of religious life in Russia. However, a number of topics related to the activities of traditional religions, was regularly in the public eye, while remaining in the main «tag» of mass media: «theology», «the relics of Saint Nicholas», «Yekaterinburg remains», «bell Academy», «Matilda», «St. Isaac’s Cathedral»… RIA Novosti presents a selection of 12 major events and trends in the religious life of Russia in 2017.

The Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

From 29 November to 2 December was held the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, who first visited the head of state Vladimir Putin. The theme of the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate held a «refrain» through the whole year in the Church agenda, has become one of the main issues of the discussion hierarchy. In the days of the Cathedral, it’s written appeal to the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church the head of the «Kiev Patriarchate» Filaret Denisenko with the request for restoration of prayer and the Eucharistic communion with Christians who are in schism. The Cathedral is considered «a step to the restoration of ecclesial communion» and has released a definition of «the conversion of the former Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Filaret».

Later at a press conference, Patriarch Filaret said that he appealed to the bishops ‘ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church with the offer of reconciliation is for the establishment of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and that he will never repent for choosing the path of autocephaly of the UOC.

Among the main decisions of the Church — the adoption of the document «On the canonical aspects of the Church’s marriage.» This is the first in modern Church practice, and a complete list of instructions for the conclusion and termination of marriage. All existing canonical norms in this consolidated in a single text, some things «adapted to modernity». And approved by the Council «regulations on the monasteries and monastics» defines the main principles and rules of life in monasteries of the modern world.

The beginning of a wide public debate on the «Ekaterinburg remains»

In July 2017 the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for publication of the investigation into the murder of the Royal family, examination for which has been completed. The materials are published on one of the most visited portals of the Church. The fact that the government took into account the request of the Church and actually went to the unprecedented step of allowing to reveal the «secret of investigation», says considerable public outcry, which is «the case of the Romanovs.»

The investigation into the murder of the family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II was resumed in the fall of 2015. Currently appointed a number of new examinations, including historical and archival, anthropological, forensic and genetic.

Protection of Russia’s first thesis in theology

The first of June in Moscow was held the first Russian dissertation on the new scientific specialty «theology». Its author, the Dean of the faculty of theology of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox humanitarian University (pstgu) Archpriest Paul Hondzinsky received the degree of doctor of philosophy for his thesis, dedicated to St. Philaret of Moscow. Theology was recognized as an academic discipline by the Higher attestation Commission in 2015, and last year was created the dissertation and expert advice.

«There are different positions, but in General I did not encounter any outright rejection in relation to their work among the Humanities,» summed up Hondzinsky. Some criticism of theology was conducted, however, by some representatives of natural Sciences (biologists). Patriarch Kirill called the recognition of theology by the state, «a new stage in the history of the Russian education and science».

The centenary of the restoration of the Patriarchate and the all-Russian local Council

In the past year, the Russian Orthodox Church solemnly celebrated the centenary year since the start of the all-Russian local Council of 1917-1918. His main solution was the restoration of the Patriarchate in Russia after more than two hundred years of the Synodal period (when the Church had no leader in the person of the Patriarch and was subordinated to state power). The first Patriarch of a new time — Tikhon, and later headed the Cathedral of the new martyrs of the Russian Church was elevated to the Patriarchal throne on 4 December 1917. On the centenary of the enthronement of Patriarch Tikhon arrived in Moscow the heads and representatives of almost all local Orthodox churches in the world.

Of the relics of Saint Nicholas from Bari to Russia

One of the outcomes of the meeting of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill with Pope Francis in Cuba in 2016 was the visit to the Russian Orthodox Church this summer, the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The relics of one of the most revered throughout the Christian world of the saints for the first time in 930 years, brought from Bari to Russia. For all the time finding shrines in Moscow and St. Petersburg bowed nearly 2.5 million pilgrims.

«Stay Holy relics in Russia in may-July 2017 was an event of great spiritual significance for the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church», — stated in the decree of the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The situation around St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Possible transfer of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg excited community; the representatives of the opposition and supporters of the transfer of the Cathedral was carried out in support of their claims, a number of marches and rallies. The authorities of St. Petersburg declared that intend to transfer the Cathedral to the gratuitous use of the Russian Orthodox Church for 49 years without a change of legal status — its owner is the city.

However, the appropriate application from the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate officials and Museum experts had not yet arrived. «While no movement there,» — concluded in December, the Director of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky. Earlier it was suggested that all interested parties will develop a «consensus» mutually acceptable solution on this issue.

The century of revolution, with «Matilda» and discontent of the faithful

In 2017, Russia marks the centenary of the revolution and the abdication of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II from the throne. For this anniversary the film Director Alexey Uchitel withdrew the film «Matilda», which tells about the passion of the heir to the Russian throne, Tsarevich Nicholas, a ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska. In wide release in Russia the film was released on 26 October, however, long before this it has caused a wide public resonance.

The main participants of the confrontation were the Director and Deputy of the state Duma Natalia Poklonskaya, who asked to revoke issued to the movie rental license. Supporters of the Teachers talked about artistic freedom, criticism of his film — about the distortion of the image of canonized «saints martyrs» of the Emperor. The discussion was attended by Muslim leaders and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, who called to avoid in the interpretation of history «speculation that can injure a huge number of people».

The Union of religious workers of the Russian Federation for the organization of aid to Syria

Representatives of traditional faiths of Russia this year have teamed up to deliver humanitarian and other assistance to the civilian population of Syria. In June, the Council for cooperation with religious associations under the Russian President has transferred the first batch of aid to the needy. Immediately followed by the continuation: the second batch of aid was delivered to Syria on August 22. This is several tons of food, medicines and children’s toys and school kits for the beginning of the school year.

Secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), promised that the aid will continue. The event was attended by representatives of different Christian denominations, Muslim communities and other traditional religions of the country.

The opening of the new Muslim center — Bulgarian of the Islamic Academy

Theology, Isaac, Bulgarians: the most important events of religious life of Russia in 2017© RIA Novosti / Maxim to Bogodeeva in potamanthidae: Bulgarian Academy is an important element of Islamic education in September in Tatarstan was solemnly opened by the Bulgarian Islamic Academy, the main purpose of its creation is the formation of the national Islamic theological school. The Academy was established at the initiative of leading Muslim organizations in the country — the Central spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia, Spiritual administration of Muslims of Russia and Spiritual administration of Muslims of Tatarstan. The establishment of the Academy was supported by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Chairman of the tsdum, the Supreme mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin, estimating the opening of the Academy, noted that «this fact was clearly demonstrated absenteeism state Russia’s policy to create the most favorable conditions for the development of domestic religious instruction.» According to him, Bulgarian Academy would become the center of Muslim education in Russia.

The announcement of the independence of the mufti of Dagestan

In March 2017 the Spiritual administration of Muslims (doom) of Dagestan has announced the release of the coordinating center of Muslims of the North Caucasus (KTSMSK). Independent mufti of Dagestan became the leader among the Muslim centers of the Russian Federation on a number of parameters primarily on the number of actually existing communities, many of which are created outside the Republic, as well as the number of establishments and capacity of the personnel reserve.

According to experts, after the proclamation of independence of the DUM of Dagestan «fundamentally changed the configuration and balance of forces in the Russian Islamic community». The five most influential centralized Muslim organizations are also a part of the DUMAS of Tatarstan, the Central spiritual administration of Muslims (tsdum), the Council of Muftis of Russia (SMR, basis is the DOOM of the Russian Federation) and CCMS.

The first ever dialogue the Dalai Lama with Russian scientists

Theology, Isaac, Bulgarians: the most important events of religious life of Russia in 2017© RIA Novosti / Olga Lipicai Lama agree: scientists from Russia want to test the theory past isnav August, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism – the Dalai Lama for the first time, met with leading Russian scientists. Conference in new Delhi «Fundamental knowledge: dialogue of Russian and Buddhist scholars» have begun joint discussions about various aspects of life in the first place, about the nature of consciousness. The first echo at the historic meeting was the forum at the Institute of philosophy at the beginning of November, which the Russian narodenia expressed its intention to conduct a science experiment that validates the Buddhist teachings about past lives.

Around the same time, in September, in Moscow, opened the first Buddhist temple complex — a 15-meter-high stupa of Enlightenment in the Otradnoye district. At the opening of the stupa of Enlightenment gathered several hundred of the capital of Buddhists.

Five years of the Jewish Museum and tolerance center

Jewish Museum and tolerance center in Moscow, said in November its fifth anniversary. On the occasion of the anniversary it even hosted a meeting of the Interreligious Council of Russia with the participation of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and other spiritual leaders of the Russian Federation. The Museum also was visited by the leadership of the country.

A Museum dedicated to the culture, history and religious traditions of Jews in Russia, is one of the world’s largest Jewish museums and in fact the biggest in Europe indoor exhibition area. As noted in the Museum for five years of its existence it was visited by about 1 million persons, there were about 9 thousand travelers, including foreign languages.