ENGLISH VERSION: “Archbishop Andrei (Maklakov) is a living reminder of the failure of Putin’s operation aimed at the absorption of ROCOR”, said Fr YAKOV KROTOV, host of "From the Christian Viewpoint" program on Radio Liberty
Portal-Credo.Ru: On September 16 Archbishop Andrei (Maklakov), administrator of the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) outside Russia, was denied entry to the Russian Federation. It turned out that he had been included in a certain "sanction list". Couldyoucommentonthis?
Father Yakov Krotov: My view is that everything is quite obvious in this case because everyone thinks of everyone else with an extrapolation of his views of himself and of life as a whole. Since the Kremlin uses the clergymen for intelligence activities in the West — they come out as "instigators" in such activities — it presumes that Washington may do the same things. The idea of someone acting out of his own will and intent does not come into their heads.
It should also be remembered that in the late nineties Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin initiated a special operation aimed at the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). It resulted in the split of ROCOR into parts. Some parts entered the Moscow Patriarchate, others preserved their independence. Archbishop Andrei (Maklakov) is a living reminder of the fact that some Russian Orthodox Christians are independent from the Kremlin and also a reminder of the fact that Putin has not completed the special operation in the way he should have completed it.
This is the cause of the exacerbation. Russia is the chekist state after all. The religious issue had been one of the key issues in the Cheka activities since the first years of the Soviet power. This is the source of such nervous attitude towards the people whom I consider as totally harmless.
- Can such measures be "efficient"?
- When an ideology is dominant in the country — and such is a specific feature of the modern-day Russian state — measures like this one are inevitable.
First, revenge and anger must have their way of expression. Second, this is one of the signals showing that the scope of religious freedoms continues to narrow in Russia. Thanks, we see the signal and we will take measures.
Father Yakov Krotov was interviewed by Vladimir Oivin