While America is out supporting ISIS terrorists and has done little to nothing to help Christians in Middle Eastern nations who are suffering real persecution from our nation’s choices, it has recently turned her attention to Russia, and for the first time is threatening to put Russia on a list of countries of “particular concern” for “violating religious liberties” by outlawing dangerous cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses:
The panel responsible for advising the United States State Department on international religious freedom issues has recommended that Russia be listed for the first time as a “country of particular concern” for violating religious liberties.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan panel created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to make policy recommendations to the president and executive agencies, released its 2017 Annual Report on Wednesday.
The report calls on the State Department to re-designate 10 countries — Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — as “countries of particular concern.” The designation is meant to signify nations that are guilty of severe violations of religious freedom as identified in the International Religious Freedom Act.
In addition, the report calls on the State Department to list six more countries as CPCs. Those countries are Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.
“On April 20, the Russian Supreme Court issued a ruling banning the existence of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in that country. Their right to religious freedom is being eliminated thoroughly — and yet ‘legally’ under Russian law,” the report explains. “Russia’s continued use of its ‘anti-extremism’ law as a tool to curtail religious freedoms is one of the reasons USCIRF has recommended for the first time that Russia be designated as a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”
Last June, Russia passed an anti-terrorism law that bans proselytizing and missionary activities. Although proponents of the law claim it is an effort to crackdown on Islamic extremism, human rights and religious freedom advocates argue that the law “doesn’t do that much to defend from terrorism and only prevents Christians and others who are not Orthodox from preaching and proselytizing,”
Because of the law, Christian and other faith leaders have been arrested for simply sharing their faith. In fact, even an American pastor was charged under the anti-terrorism law.
The USCIRF report states that Russia presents a “unique case” because it has “continually intensified its repression of religious freedom since USCIRF commenced monitoring it” in 2000 and has also “expanded its repressive policies to the territory of a neighboring state, by means of military invasion and occupation.”
“Those policies, ranging from administrative harassment to arbitrary imprisonment to extrajudicial killing, are implemented in a fashion that is systematic, ongoing, and egregious,” the report explains.
Designating Russia to be listed as a CPC would be an “appropriate” action for the State Department to take, evangelical author and international religious freedom advocate Johnnie Moore, told The Christian Post on Wednesday.
“I absolutely believe that Russia’s efforts to marginalize evangelicals and ban Jehovah’s Witnesses reflect a hugely alarming change in opposition to democracy in favor of totalitarianism and the defiance of religious liberty,” said Moore, who is reportedly among religious freedom advocates in consideration to be nominated as the ambassador at-large for international religious freedom. “Those actions need to responded to forcefully by the world and it is absolutely appropriate to designate them as USCIRF has.”
Moore explained that before Russia took actions in the last year to crackdown on non-Orthodox Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses, he was “feeling very positive about the role that Russia was finding itself in the protection of Christians in the region.”
“Russia’s entire motivation for a number of decisions in the region have related directly to protecting Orthodox communities,” Moore, a former vice president at Liberty University, said. “While I absolutely condemn and am appalled by these actions and I think they ought to be noted for it as a country of concern, on the same token, I do appreciate their ongoing voice on behalf of orthodox communities in the world.”
“But they are deciding who they are going to stand up for. The message that they are sending by alienating evangelicals is that they are happy for evangelicals to be persecuted or to die as long as orthodox Christians don’t,” Moore continued. “That is the wrong message. It isn’t reflected by any of the orthodox Christians that I have interacted with in Iraq and Syria who are working very closely with Christians of all types to secure religious freedom and find a future home for Christians in the Middle East.”
Republican Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., also praised the USCIRF’s recommendations.
“The right to practice any faith, or have no faith, is a fundamental human right of all people, no matter where they live,” Lankford said in a statement shared with CP. “Nations that oppress this basic human right are bound to violate other human rights, and in some regions, the evil of religious-based genocide rises up within its borders.” (source)
What a bunch of baloney- and propaganda.
Last month I wrote an article ( as part of an ongoing series of articles) about the situation of “Russia outlawing Christianity.” I bluntly stated that such an idea was a complete, utter, baldfaced lie because Christianity in Russia is actually not being persecuted at all. I refer to this not only as the “official” state of the Russia Orthodox Church, but even more importantly of the Catholic Church (and to a lesser extent in the western parts of Russia near the Nordic and Baltic nations, the Lutheran Church since in has a historical presence in these regions albeit greatly reduced). While there certainly have been and are real problems between different christian sects in Russia, there is no concept of anything like a systematic persecution that the American “Christian” media is presenting it to be. I cited one of my favorite missionary priests, Fr. Michael Shields of the Diocese of Anchorage, Alaska, who had dedicated his life to the Catholics in Magadan (a remote Russia city in Siberia) as well as to all people who life in that region. But Fr. Shields is not the only person who is like this- a simple online search will yield many Catholics missions throughout all of Russia, and many of them who are caring for the most helpless and vulnerable people in society often overlooked, forgotten, or just ignored by the government.
“Christianity” itself in Russia is just fine- that is, with apostolic Christians, meaning those whose churches were founded by the original 12 apostles. This includes the Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox (Armenians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians), and the Assyrian Church of the East. In addition, churches with a long presence in Russia due to long-standing historical issues (such as the Lutherans) are also fine. The problem is with American Protestant missionaries, many of whom are barely Christian themselves or belong to groups recognized by other Christians as dangerous cults.
An overview of American foreign policy for at least since the Civil War shows a consistent pattern by which the federal government and those who control it do not care about anything in other nations except that by which it can use as a lever for extending its own power while giving the impression it is not doing so. Basically, we see other people’s problems as a tool to make ourselves better, and could care less if we actually help or harm somebody in the process so long as our ends are attained. All nations have done this in some way, but America is of particular interest because we have uniquely creative and efficient means for going about doing this.
Religious freedom is but one of many ways which America forces its policies and ideas on the rest of the world. The pattern is itself quite simple, and applies to any and all groups in a nation regardless of religion, sect, or any other kind of naturally existing social division which could be turned into a pressure point over which to lever social and political change. However, religious freedom is so often used because religion is a matter that deals with absolute truth and will inherently lead to conflict with different religious views. The process as a whole is to simply find a division between different groups in a country, then promote that group while demonizing the other society for being in opposition to them both to their people living in their society and to people living outside that society using the available means of communication, creating both internal and external pressure on the target nation. Repeat and amplify this process as necessary, making changes as need be until either the desired change takes place or the society splits into open conflict, at which the same means or other and more intensified ones can be applied. This has been the pattern for social change both in America and abroad, from everything to changing popular opinion on basic issues such as homosexual unions all the way to the fake “color revolutions” and the “popular overthrows” of governments throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. This pattern is essentially a modified version of the “Hegelian dialectic,” except whereas the Hegelian dialectic deals with changing a man’s views through conversation, this is the Hegelian Dialectic modified to apply to propaganda.
Right now, the United States is engaged in a massive geopolitical game against Russia. In one sense, this game is as old as American history itself and will never end because Russia and America are both great nations with interests that are naturally in conflict with each other in many ways for reasons that are the most part natural. That said, the danger that we are seeing right now is getting into a military conflict with Russia, which America is moving dangerous close towards, for while Russia has many internal and social problems and certainly is not as powerful as the USA is, it is far easier for her to survive a potential conflict in the long term and as a matter of general course, any conflict between Russia and America would lead to a worldwide war. It is in the interest of no one- America or Russia- to have a war with each other. However, that has not stopped many people in America who are of the belief that Russia is in terminal and perpetual decline to attempt to start a conflict.
The conflict over “religious freedom” in Russia is not about the persecution of Catholic or Orthodox Christians in Russia as during the Soviet period. It is not about the real issue of nationalism disguised as Christianity in Russia, which is a major issue in the Russian Orthodox Church. It is about how American-backed missionaries such as Baptists and Pentecostals- who openly hate the Catholics and the Orthodox and have a history of attacking Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Russia and other Slavic nations- being allowed to spread and cause social disruption in Russia. It also includes deviant cults founded in and backed by American money such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons- both who are condemned by Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants alike- to spread and sow the same perverse and unnecessary division in society. Likewise, notices how these same “Christians” in America who also criticize what “bad Russia” is doing here also will oppose Russia for shutting down music groups and other social groups that intentionally are being used to promote subversive activity, such as the band Pussy Riot or the homosexual “protests” throughout Russia.
There is a reason the Cathars were outlawed and destroyed in the past.
The more things change, the more they often stay the same.
What Russia is doing today is the same reason why in Medieval times dangerous sects such as the Albigensians and Cathars were outlawed. They were the Pussy Riots and LGBT protests, the heretics and anarchists of their time as are the above groups for our times. It is not an attack on the humanity of these people, but a simple recognition that St. Juan de Ribera, the great Archbishop of Valencia, wrote centuries ago about religious freedom in a society, in which he noted that the ‘most pernicious’ view any man could propagate in a society was the idea of a multiplicity of religions, for just a the sun rises and sets so does a society, her king, and her people revolve around one truth expressed by one religion, and to suggest that there could be anything more than one religion is to suggest multiple ideas of truth, which is to introduce conflict into society and therefore unending subversion and revolution.
Indeed, what America is doing by trying to soil the image of Russia for being against “freedom of religion” is nothing less than pernicious, as it is just another attempt to re-apply the Hegelian dialectic to Russian society ultimately trying to cause a greater conflict.