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Ivan Datsenko from Ukraine is the leader of the Indians and the agent of the Soviet intelligence service

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The U.S. State Department: Russia prepares aggression against the USA by hand of Chukchi people

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The truth of history: Wehrmacht, just as SS, slaughtered and raped on a mass scale

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USA go to hell!

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Peter Switalski: Orthodoxy is compatible to democracy!

The director of political planning of political department of the Council of Europe Peter Switalski is one of those modern European politicians who reflect on a religion role in the XXI century, on its relationship with policy. At a seminar of the Moscow school of political researches Peter Switalski stated the vision of these questions:

- We have three system problems. Firstly, it is the relations between freedom of religion and other freedoms. For example, with a freedom of speech. Let's remember “Satanic verses” of Salman Rushdie, the caricatures published in the Danish magazine that caused the real explosion in the Middle East. But such can occur in any country. For example, in Poland one artist was condemned that he offended the religious feelings of believers. The judgment in the same occasion is waited by the rock musician … It is difficult to find the boundary line.

Secondly, the relations of a freedom of worship and right to your corporal integrity. One example: in Cologne the decision was made by court that circumcision violates the right to integrity of an organism. In Germany there was a big discussion in this respect. And after all in the USA the circumcision is done to 70% of the born boys. But in the majority they are not Jews, not Muslims, and Christians. Also it is done for the medical reasons …

It is clear that the person has to solve himself, but in a Judaism the circumcision is done in some days. There is a problem and I am ready to assume that the European court on human rights in Strasbourg will be filled up with complaints of this sort.

The third problem is the treatment of animals. Poland recently was literally filled up with statements from non-government organizations that we allow to destroy the animals brutally. The matter is that Poland exports meat to the Middle East; it is necessary to hammer the cattle ritually, otherwise you won't sell … But many think that such way contradicts the all-European values. I consider that this wave will accrue only. Does it mean that Europe will stop meat export to the Middle East? I don't know …

Today more than 30 states apply the concept of the state religion theoretically or in practice. It can be the most different religion: in the majority – the Islamic countries, but are both Protestant Iceland and orthodox Greece, both Catholic Liechtenstein and Malta. Isn't present in the countries where there is Hinduism, but recently was in Nepal. The question consists in how is it possible to combine the nationality concept with the concept of the state religion? In our century when there are mass migrations, the problem becomes more difficult and difficult because a great number of people can feel restrained, citizens of the second grade. And after all migration will accrue only!

Now in Europe these problems aren't connected with the concept of the state religion – the political discrimination in relation to citizens of other religion isn't carried out. But there are the serious problems connected with a place of religion in public space. For example, question of military service. There are people who refuse it for conscience reasons, religious reasons. In Israel there is a big discussion: is it necessary to call up for military service the orthodox Jews?

Problem of stereotypes. Example is from Poland: for many years the entrance examinations to legal institute were carried out on Saturdays. But the Adventists of the seventh day declared that it is discrimination. After all in the law it isn't written down, but there is only a tradition which didn't give the chance to them to pass examinations.

One more problem is the relations between religions. Firstly, in the world still there is a prosecution for religious motives. Secondly, there is the inter-sect violence. And, thirdly, the religious fundamentalism is used as the policy tool. The fundamentalism is a political problem, but not religious!

I would like to tell about stereotypes of perception of Orthodoxy in Western Europe. The first is conservatism. Because Orthodoxy didn't endure reformation and didn't face doctrinal calls. Especially on social problems. For example, question of the relation to homosexuals. But conservatism is a part of identity of any church, protection of traditional values. The church departing from traditional values, loses the followers. For example, in the USA the churches recognizing the same-sex marriage lose followers. So, I don't know, whether is it bad that the orthodox church is perceived conservatively. You have the chance to solve it.

The second is a caesaropapism. The Russian Orthodox Church inherited the Byzantine tradition. That created Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great is in fact the continuation of the Byzantine tradition. Today's proposals of Russian Orthodox Church to participate in policy – that is it: reaction to events or new tendency? I didn't draw a conclusion yet.

Life showed that even Islam well combines the religious installations with democracy. Examples are round us. And I think that it concerns any religion, including the orthodox. They say that Orthodoxy is incompatible with democracy because of its heritage, but I don't agree with it. The democracy can perfectly work in any belief!

That there is the democracy in Europe is a result of that at a certain stage there were certain acts from Christianity which had the agenda. After all the democracy arose not because it was consciously wanted. For example, Frensis Fukuyama considers decisive that women acquired the right to inheritance then. And differently there would be no democracy at us! The church fought namely for that then…

It is simply impossible to return Russia to pre-revolutionary times, to restore a role of church of that time. And all know this! Russia is an original phenomenon in Europe: two thirds of the Russians identify themselves with Orthodoxy, but visit the church at the level of the Czech republic – the most atheistic state in Europe. There is no other such state in Europe where there would be such delimitation between scenery and reality.

Viewed : 1599   Commented: 0

Author: Vladimir Kuzmenkin

Publication date : 28 June 2013 01:00

Source: The world and we

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