The Wrath of God Explains Volcanoes: Russian Orthodox Edition

No big surprises here: a Russian Orthodox group called the Association of Orthodox Experts has pronounced that the Iceland volcano may be evidence of the wrath of God against gays and pagans. Interfax reports:

…They noted that Iceland “has recently become a center of European neo-paganism of Aryan occult kind, which has Nazi character” as Iceland has headquartered the Association of European Ethnic Religions that has recently worked out a draft of merger between the World Pagan Assembly and International Pagan Alliance.

The authors of the statement remind that PACE at its April session plans to discuss rights of various minorities, especially sexual, and that “major part of European deputies propose that all states of the Council of Europe should introduce a subject on peculiarities of homosexual behavior in the school curriculum.”

The “Association of Orthodox Experts” in English is scarce, is led by a certain Kirill Frolov, a long-standing activist on the Orthodox Christian Right who has featured on this blog previously; in 2008 I noted his criticisms of the Greek Orthodox church in Jerusalem (naturally, he believes the Russians should take on the leadership role). Other antics have included protesting against the Hare Krishna. Frolov also belongs to the Union of Orthodox Citizens and the Orthodox Civic Council. He’s also an enthusiast for an Orthodox militia, as was reported in 2008:

A ubiquitous feature of Soviet life was the institution of people’s druzhiny – ostensibly voluntary citizens’ neighborhood law-and-order patrols, instantly recognizable by the red armbands worn by the druzhinniki. Well, they’re back… with a faith-based twist.

…”We’ve got no small number of groupings, which today literally enslave the life of a street, a district, a small town, a village. And here, I consider, Orthodox druzhiny may establish order in their place of residence”, declared deputy head of the department of external ecclesiastical ties of the ROC, Vsevolod Chaplin. “Now alongside many church communities, parishes, there exist military-patriotic groups with good athletic training. They could manifest big civic activeness.”

…In the meantime, druzhiny are already being created, reports Kommersant. Chief of the Moscow branch of the Union of Orthodox Citizens Kirill Frolov declared to the publication that the Missionary Society of the Holy Apostle Thomas is ready for the patrolling of streets. In the words of Frolov, from 1 December, patrols are going out to a street mission. “The druzhinniki will be carrying the image of civic peaceableness and interdict manifestations of extremism”, he added.

According to this site, the Association has links with the Diocese of Ivanovo-Voznesensky, and this site mentions some other members associated with it: Dmitry Volodihin (“writer, historian, coordinator of the Association”), Vadim Bulatov (“coordinator of the Association”), and Ekaterina Orlova (“member of the Presidium Mezhsobornogo Prisutstvia of the Russian Orthodox Church, editor in chief editor of ‘Danilov evangelist’, coordinator of the Association”).