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”).

17 Responses

  1. Interfax-Religion is a semi-official site of the Moscow Patriachate.

    This obscurantist nonsense makes the Orthodox Faith a laughing stock.

    Ths Moscow Patriarchate simply has no sense of mission to Western Europeans or anyone who has a reasonable level of modern education. It would be honest if they admitted this. They cannot claim to be leaders of world Orthodoxy when on Russian police figures, less than 1.5% of the entire population of Moscow attended any church services at Easter 2010! Even in England about 10% of the population attends some religious service at Christmas which is the main festival there.

    • Timmie is full of it. In any case, you’re basing your argument on a faulty English translation. As I have facility in Russian, I know. Interfax is known for incompetence in its “Englishing” of its articles… for instance, RIA-Novosti and VOR are much better. In any case, one goes to the Russian original, which none of the above did. In short, your argument is GIGO from end to end as a result.

      I smell an agenda… DON’T drink the Kool Aid… the Jim Joneses of the left are as nutters as the Jim Joneses of the right.

      • I’m well aware that “Interfax” is of variable competence when it comes to translation, and that being reliant on English sources has certain limitations. However, in this instance your own amended translation is substantially the same as that from “Interfax”.

    God is in charge of every atom in the universe .
    Nothing was created without him . God is present
    everywhere and even knows the secret thoughts of our hearts. The eruption of any volcano etc will be known by God before the foundation of the world.
    But the reason may be hidden from us. We will only
    know the reason for disasters when we die – which we
    will all do. However one can speculate as they did
    with the great plagues.

  3. Are you then saying that you agree with Timmie’s rather ridiculous and asinine statement? Watch out… you’re dealing with someone who is conversant with the Russian sources and who has friends in-country. As a believing Orthodox Christian, I find American sectarianism and ecumenical indifferentantism repulsive in their hubris, to be honest. As for the APE statement, a good deal of it does hold water if one is a believer in the traditional sense… are you saying that you are not such?


    • I don’t claim to know how many people went to church at Easter in Moscow, if you have a source for the real figures please feel free to send a link.

      As for the APE statement, one of the functions of religion is to explain unfortunate events – both the reason for them, and how to avoid them. However, earthquakes and volcanoes and such are rather less mysterious than they were in former times, and so the idea that we need to resort to supernatural causation loses its attraction. Pronouncements such as the APE’s simply look opportunistic.

  4. What about countries and communities that do not live on the borders of tectonic plates? Do they have a head start in the “sin-free” stakes?

    • Adrian – Unfortunately there are thousands of other
      disasters that can make up for this – such as malaria
      or cancer. ” All of creation is under a curse until Jesus
      returns” – so it certainly looks that way.

      So you can either believe there is nothing out there,

      Or in a God who controls every event for purposes not
      known by us – which relate to an eternity in Heaven or
      not ! Jesus said gaining all the assets in the world will not compensate for the loss of eternal life.

      You can either believe or reject.

      • To seek the existence of God in the chaotic mechanics of the Universe is to seek order and reason. Therefore, for those who seek such a being, it is imperative that the actions of such a deity should be seen to be “ordered and reasonable”.

        I find it hard to believe in the workings of a God who allowed Ann Maurice, Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen etc to exist, let alone to create home-makeover shows. And Adrian Chiles on the telly? Why would a decent and rational God allow such a thing?

        These things would test the faith of anyone…..

    • In the Gospels – Jesus said his imminent return would
      be preceded by increasing earthquakes and the resultant waves on the sea – this is proven – there
      has been a great increase in earthquakes.

  5. Attempting to take the heat of off the insane ravings of inbred Iranian Mullahs.

    Interesting fact: nearly 2 million (former) soviet Muslims have converted to Christianity, Bart.

    Tragic, isn’t it?

  6. Attempting to take the heat of off the insane ravings of inbred Iranian Mullahs.

    Oh noes – I was hoping all those millions of readers who get their news exclusively from my blog wouldn’t notice the existence of Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.

  7. Adrian – chaotic universe ? have you seen anything
    on the balancing equations that are needed for the universe to survive and the atoms thereof – astonishing – see Lee Strobels’s DVD – the case for
    a creator .
    Admittedly to the human eye things look chaotic butt
    God knows if a hair falls from your head.

  8. Just as in Pharoah’s Day, hearts were hardened.
    The Plagues came anyway.
    Just ask Noah.
    Judgement came there also.
    Yeshua (Jesus) personally said::
    “As in the Days of Noah, so shall it be in the Latter Days`”
    So it is.
    People will cry when it becomes too late.
    Believe it or not, it’s in the happening.

    • Jacqueline agreed
      Anyone could have walked into the Ark but once the door closed that was it.
      Todays ark is accepting Jesus as your lord by crucifying to self and giving each day to Jesus.
      Then you will escape the wrath of God against unrepentant sinners by being in the rapture.

      By the way the ark was about half the size of the queen
      mary – took about 400 man years to build – and needed
      to hold about between 15,000 – 30,000 kinds of air breathing land animals with the average size of a sheep.
      Since the land was in one place everyone would hear
      Noah’s preaching and would journey to laugh at this
      Prophet building a boat in the middle of the dry land.
      Then the door closed.

  9. […] Association of Orthodox Experts appeared on this blog in 2010, when it declared that the Iceland volcano eruption might be God’s wrath against gays and […]

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