Russian geopolitics goes back to the Great Schism of 1054 A.D. when the Orthodox and the Church of Rome separated. During the middle ages Russia, as a deeply pious Orthodox country, considered itself to be the protector of Christianity. The Russian State was regarded as the protector and benefactor or the church, and Moscow came to be known there as the new Rome. At present Orthodoxy remains by far the largest Christian church in Russia.
The partnership was seemingly disrupted by the Russian revolution of 1917, after which the atheist Bolsheviks came to power. They were not friendly to any Christian churches, Orthodox or otherwise, and all sorts of church properties were seized by the government and re-purposed. Effectively the churches were shut down. Over the years, as the Soviet government gradually allowed the churches to rebuild themselves, the new churches were intended to be a creature of the Soviet. This succeeded in Russia, where the population was predominantly Orthodox, but it failed notably in Poland, where the population was Catholic – a fact that gave leverage to Rome as an outside power to support the overthrow of the communist regime there. (Pope-Putin Visit: Is Church Detente in the Works?, Mike Eckel, 11/26/2013)
In Russia, now that the Soviet Union has fallen, the church that it built remains, and still calls itself Orthodox (although dissenting Orthodox churches around the world take umbrage at the claim). Today, the Russian State, like the Soviet State ultimately did, sees the Russian Orthodox Church as enhancing national cohesion and expects it to provide moral backing for decisions of the political regime. The Russian Church and State are very close. The re-imaging of the church under Communism coupled with its close partnership with the current secular regime are currents tending to make the Church an apologist for secularism.
This is not to say that a national church can not successfully work together with a national government. Many argue that it has been done successfully before without degrading the Christian message. However it is always a potential hazard and so we flag it as one puzzle piece that when fitted with all the rest may result in a surprising image.
Political manipulation is not the only non-Christian influence within Russian Orthodoxy today. Bishop Hilarion cites Berdyaev as saying that it was an atheism which had infected Russian society (which at that time equated to saying the Russian church) from the intelligentsia to the peasants that led to the revolution of 1917.
“The Russian nation always considered itself to be Christian. Many Russian thinkers and artists were even inclined to regard … the Russian nation [as] a bearer of God… But, it was here that revolution broke out, and it…revealed a spiritual emptiness in Russian people. This emptiness is a result of a slavery that lasted too long of a process of egeneration (sic) of the old regime that went too far, of a paralysis of the Russian Church and moral degradation of the ecclesiastical authorities that lasted too long. Since long ago the sacred has been exterminated from the people’s soul both from the left side and the right, which prepared this cynical attitude towards the sacred that is now being revealed in all its disgust.” (Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern Russia, Bishop Hilarion, 2005 or 2014)
To say that atheism had infected the minds of the people is too simplistic. If one thinks of atheism as a “godless faith”, all manner of quasi-spiritual sciences come into view. In the case of a dieing national church, these ideas tend to re-animate the corpse. Hilarion begins to describe this here:
There were still living saints within [the Russain Church], like John of Kronstadt, and spiritual life still flourished in at least some monasteries. On the other hand, the Church was governed by the civil authorities, or even by such odd figures as [Rasputin], and it is true that it was paralyzed to a considerable extent. (Atheism and Orthodoxy …)
Hilarion expands on this thread, citing Metropolitan Veniamin (Fedchenkov) as saying that the spiritual paralysis in the church led to its acceptance of spiritual deception:
[I]t was not by mere chance that there arose people like Rasputin: against the common background of indifference towards religion he appeared as a charismatic figure and was at first accepted as such by the ecclesiastical authorities, who then directed his steps to the imperial palace. (Atheism and Orthodoxy …)
Hilarion summarizes the above by describing the death of a nominally Christian church and society animated by non-Christian ideas:
Though Orthodox Christianity was still maintained as the official religion of the Russian, monarchy, both society and the Church were fatally contaminated by unbelief, nihilism and atheism. Even the seminarists, future priests, balanced on the edge between religion and atheism. Many ordinary Christians, if not the majority, had no faith at all, and it was they who turned against the Church as soon as membership in it stopped being encouraged. The Church at once lost the great majority of its members and remained a small flock of those prepared to die for Christ. (Atheism and Orthodoxy …)
The death of this church led the way for the revolution and then the destruction and/or confiscation of its properties by the Bolsheviks.
It was also during the decades leading up to the communist revolution of 1917 that the Theosophy of Madam Blavatsky became popular. In addition to that, after the revolution, the Soviet sponsored and attempted to co-opt Buddhist and Mongolian myths and metaphysical sciences in an effort to win the allegiance of their Asian populations and neighbors. The pagan themes within these traditions, blended together, trickled into Russian culture becoming popular throughout Russia during the Soviet regime. They remain popular now among Russians, whether in the church or just in the population at large (See Gog’s Theosophical Empire of the End). This has tended to make today’s Russian Orthodox church less Christian than the name would imply.
Bishop Hilarion underscores the changed character of the new Russian Orthodox Christianity this way:
It seems to me that, though the numbers of believers has immensely increased during the last years, Russia is still far from being a Christian country. To be baptised, to be Orthodox has become a fashion. I would not be surprised if the majority of people, when asked whether they are Orthodox, would now give a positive answer. This does not mean, though, that they all go to church. It only means that most of them have assumed a new outward identity to keep up with the ongoing ‘religious revival’. I remember asking one teenager who came, together with her mother, to be baptised: ‘Do you believe in God?’ ‘No,’ was her answer. ‘Why then do you want to be baptised?’ I asked. ‘Well, everybody gets baptised nowadays,’ she said. This case, one of many, illustrates that many people take religion in a very superficial manner, sometimes without even believing in God. Remaining inwardly atheists, they become outwardly Orthodox. …
To speak of a religious revival in contemporary Russia has become a commonplace. But people vary in their understanding of what this revival entails. Certainly there is an external revival: many churches, monasteries and theological schools are being reopened, the buildings are being restored. But it is too early to speak of the restoration of the Russian soul. There is no improvement in morality in contemporary Russia. (Atheism and Orthodoxy …)
Also the post-Soviet Russian Orthodox church is in ongoing ecumenical discussions with the church of Rome. This is largely possible because, ever since the Catholic’s Second Vatican Council in 1962, the Catholic Church is not as Christian as it once was either. It is widely regarded as having been taken over by Freemasonry. Since Freemasonry is at its core gnostic and pagan, this makes the new Catholic church compatible with the new Russian Orthodox substrate of occult science and secularism.
In 2009, Putin’s government augmented the rapprochement of the two churches by establishing full diplomatic relations with the Vatican, and parallel to that, Italy is now Russia’s fourth biggest trading partner. Does this mean that Christianity in Russia will ever be willing to give up its Orthodox label? It does not. The Russian people would never accept that. In Russia, to be Russian is to be Orthodox; and this has been the case for over a thousand years. Likewise, and for the same reason, the Vatican and the Catholics will not be abandoning the Catholic label. But it does mean that the inner substance of these two traditions is converging even while the labels remain distinct.
In spite of this convergence, tensions remain. Putin will be well aware that the Catholic Church played a significant role in the collapse of communism in Poland, and possibly in the entire Soviet Union. He is keenly aware of the more recent loss of another largely Catholic country – Ukraine – which fell from the sphere of the post-Soviet Russians under his own watch. Like the KGB was, he is intensely wary of the power of the Catholic Church and its doctrines as a challenge to Russia. Whatever detente the Russians may be carrying out with Rome, they have a more natural ally in Turkey, which as successor to the Ottoman Caliphate is a natural enemy of Rome, and which has never subverted Russian geopolitical authority, or at least not to the degree that Rome has, or as recently.
However, the Ottoman caliphate, being Islamic, would seem to be as much a sworn enemy of Orthodox Christianity as the enemy of Rome. And the president of Turkey, Erdogan, is determined to revive it. He has openly declared this, and has called out moderate Islam as weakening the Muslim faith and undermining the national calling of Turkey. How can a regime with such an agenda ally with Christian Russia?
Perhaps the Turkish notion of Islam has been broadened in the same way that the Russian and the Roman churches have. This would extend common ground between them. Peeling back the label from Islam, particularly when made in Turkey, we find that this is the case. Islam is a relatively new religion. It began in the 600s, A.D.. As such it subsists as a veneer over a thousand of years pagan tradition.
In Turkey the presence of the pagan synchretisms is magnified by the popularity of Sufism (Sufism in Turkey).
Sufism, in its beginnings a practical method of spiritual education and self-realization, grew slowly into a theosophical system by adopting traditions of Neoplatonism, the Hellenistic world, gnosticism …, and spiritual currents from Iran and various countries in the ancient agricultural lands from the eastern Mediterranean to Iraq. (Theosophical Sufism)
Erdogan’s intent to re-institute the Caliphate propels the Sufi impulse further, since Sufism had been an integral part of the Ottoman State – so much so that it had to be forcibly disbanded following the abolishment of the Caliphate in 1922.
Further evidence of Erdogan’s simpatico with Sufi philosophy may be found in his willingness to blend pagan and Islamic tradition. He is attempting, for example, to restore a key pagan altar associated with the glory of ancient Turkey. He has declared 2023 as the completion target for restoring the Zeus Lepsynos Temple in Pergamum from the 2nd century B.C.. Walid Shoebat explains what this temple represents:
From pagan to Muslim Ottoman, Erdogan wants to revive the glory of all empires under its neo-Ottoman dream to be presented on 2023 for his glorious Ottoman accomplishments. What would be left is what they so badly are fighting for, to return to Pergamum what Carl Humann took from “the slopes of a hill in Bergamo [Pergamum], near Izmir, Turkey: “the ancient Altar of Zeus that he unearthed, with its dramatic frieze of the battle between the Gods and the Giants” (Turkey’s Caliph Erdogan Is Rebuilding The Temple Of Zeus On A Grand Scale Preparing It For His 2023 Grand Vision For His Ottoman Caliphate Dream by Walid Shoebat, 9/02/16)
These pagan ideas overlap with the Masonic philosophy embedded in the new church of Rome (just as they harmonize with the neo-pagan and Theosophical principles that are embedded in Russia). The Romans worshiped Zeus as the head of their pantheon under the name of Jupiter. Shoebat adds that Allah is just another name for the same god.
Allah is Baal, Sin, Zeus, or Jupiter involving the worship of the sun, the moon, and the stars. (Turkey’s Caliph … by Walid Shoebat, 9/02/16)
Based on philosophy and spirituality then, Russia could ally with the Vatican as easily as it can ally with Turkey. But Turkey has not been the geopolitical threat to the Soviet Union or to the post-Soviet Russian State that Rome has.
Evidence we have from the Bible further strengthens the case for a Russia/Turkey alliance. The biblical prophecies say that at the time of the end a Gog/Magog alliance will invade Israel from the north. Russia and Turkey appear to be notable among the participants in this campaign. Shoebat contends that the altar at Pergamum represents the pinnacle of this geopolitical power as the throne of Satan.
Jesus did not refer to the Pergamum as simply the throne of Zeus, but rather as the throne of Satan himself where the Antichrist will reside (thus saying) that Satan’s ‘throne’, or spiritual base, was geographically located in Turkey. It is for this reason that Lucifer must establish a spiritual stronghold making Turkey the significant role in the Antichrist Empire. (Turkey’s Caliph … by Walid Shoebat, 9/02/16)
Shoebat further underscores the connection in the scriptures:
In Judges 8:21, the word used for crescent is saharon, which literally means crescent moon. It comes from the root of sahar (Luminous), as in Isaiah 14 God renders Lucifer as Hilal ben Sahar.
Hilal, or heylal, is Hebrew for “Luminous” or “morning star/crescent moon,” which is the very symbol of Islam including almost every cult that persecuted the seed of the Woman in Genesis 3:15. (Turkey’s Caliph … by Walid Shoebat, 9/02/16)
The prophecies point to Erdogan as a natural ally of Russia. This seems strange if one thinks of Russia as an East Orthodox Christian nation. However, if the Russian church serves as a face for a neo-pagan movement, it makes perfect sense. The substrate of Sufism in Turkey dovetails perfectly with the substrate of Theosophy in Russia and gives them ample common ground. As a new Caliphate in Turkey solidifies, if it looks toward Israel and Greece with expansionist design, it will also serve Russia as a spearhead into the Middle East and westward. Given the current circumstances in the Middle East, if the above line of reasoning is plausible, then Turkey bears watching with reference to end-times prophecy.
Perhaps the Antichrist will arise in Turkey, whether with today’s boundaries or amidst the turmoil associated with its initial expansion. Then, following the biblical prophecies, he would invade Israel and set up his rule. If current events are leading into these prophecies, one can expect this Gog/Magog Antichrist to bring all faiths, creeds, and philosophies under his own umbrella through a synchretistic system of faiths. They could each keep their name and outer symbols and form, but beneath the surface they would be united through the neo-pagan mysteries.
All of the pagan metaphysical sciences we have discussed can serve as the glue for such a system. They all have one thing in common. They each claim that a single set of mysteries is taught under the outer symbols of all faiths and sciences. Antichrist will claim that they all ultimately point to him, as the culmination of that tradition represented by a royal line of righteous rulers. He will offer to illuminate all human beings with the glorious light of this knowledge. This is because he represents the light of Lucifer, which hopefully you will recognize as deception and will reject, no matter the cost.
Gog – Prince of Meschech and Tubal (Very brief)
Gog’s Theosophical Empire of the End: Russia!
Bismillah – Mark of the Beast
Minds! The new Facebook