Author(s):  R.N. Lunkin, Institute of Europe Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia,

Issue:  Volume 45, №1

Rubric:  Topical issues of political science

Annotation:  With the raising of the security dangers in Europe and the challenges of the migration the problem of sav-ing the Christian identity of the continent was recognized as more actual and sharp. As well as the prob-lem of the discrimination of Christians in the Middle East. Russian Orthodoxy suggested it’s own re-sponse on the global challenges. The author analyzed the role of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the effectiveness of using of the ROC potential in the foreign policy of Russia. The methods of the histor-ical and sociological analysis of the public declarations and actions of the representatives of the ROC and the state officials were used in present article. The author pointed that on the post-Soviet space the Rus-sian Church became the symbol of consolidation of the Russian speaking population and of the successful partnership with the local authorities in the national states. The author described the evolution of ROC role from the concept of “Russian civilization” to the “Russian world” and the awareness of the ROC role in the global Orthodoxy. In the general line in foreign policy of Russia in the end of 1990s and the begin-ning of 2000s the Orthodox factor was especially marked in the relationship of Russia with the countries of the Commonwealth of independent states. In 2010s the attempts of the Russian state to make the Church one of the ideological instruments in defending of the rights of Christians in the Middle East and in the countering with the international terrorism was overlapped with the contradictory perception of the ROC in the former Soviet Union. The Ukrainian crisis after 2014 put under threat the previous achieve-ments of the Church and the future of ROC branches in general in post-Soviet countries. The author con-cluded that the Russian Church forced to revise the vision of the “Russian world” and began to work out the idea of the project of it’s own Orthodox globalism.

Keywords:  religious factor, Orthodoxy, interconfessional relations, Russian Orthodox Church, Catholicism, Commonwealth of Independent States, former Soviet Union, Russian-Ukrainian crisis, political science of religion.

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