Needless to say, the important and portentous story of the attempted subversion of the Orthodox Church using the intelligence and political instruments still at the disposal of the moribund post-Christian West has gone virtually unreported, uncommented, and uncondemned. It concerns the multi-front offensive currently being unleashed against the most ancient and authentic Christian communion, the Orthodox Church.
The epicenter of this externally induced commotion is at this moment in Montenegro, NATO’s latest “catch” in its persistent effort to secure or at least neutralize the Balkan rear, with a view to the projected conflict with Russia. One of the major remaining targets in Montenegro is the country’s Metropolitanate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the institution which according to the latest survey is the most trusted by the country’s population. The Orthodox Church, which saw Montenegro through its centuries of confrontation with the Ottoman Empire, is literally the repository of Montenegro’s identity and culture. Russia’s traditional ally Montenegro – just like the Ukraine, which finds itself similarly targeted – cannot be reconfigured and turned into a compliant instrument of the impending Western crusade unless its identity shaped by the Church is first suitably redesigned.
The issue which brought the crisis into the open and moved it to the verge of physical confrontation was the unprecedented law, allegedly to secure “freedom for religious confessions,” which the regime rammed through the rubber-stamp parliament on December 27, 2019, complete with the almost routine arrest of about twenty opposition parliamentarians who objected vociferously to its Orwellian provisions. The core of this legislation is the requirement that all religious property dating back to before 1918 (when Montenegro joined what later became Yugoslavia) would be taken over by the state, which then, from the goodness of its heart, might allow the dispossessed religious community to use it for the performance of its rites. Given Montenegro’s ethnic, historical, and religious landscape, although not explicitly so stated, the new law’s brunt will be borne exclusively by the local Metropolitanate of the Serbian Orthodox Church in that country. The Serbian Church is the only significant religious community with a broad following and any property to be seized, the other faiths’ presence being relatively minor and symbolic.
Unexpectedly for all concerned, once reality sank in that with the passage of the new law the dispossession of the Church, with an intensified assault on the identity of the majority of the population, was becoming imminent, a massive expression of popular outrage erupted and continues on a daily basis. It is possible that the regime simply miscalculated the potential of such a seemingly arcane issue to quickly mobilize vast numbers of the citizenry. Their NATO sponsors surely did, and obviously failed to duly caution their stooges, which is perfectly understandable because religious concerns ceased long ago to play a significant social role in the West. (Both regime stalwarts and their jaded Western mentors must have found this Montenegrin procession, outlining a human “cross” made up of lighted torches, extremely annoying and awkward.) In the event, in all parts of Montenegro tens of thousands of Orthodox believers took to the streets during the holiday season to manifest their disapproval. In a very small country, with an official population of about 600,000, at least a quarter of the citizens defied bitter winter cold and snow to vote with their feet and send the pro-NATO clique the clear message that they are not on board.
Curiously, or perhaps not, the regime’s appalling religious intimidation campaign found resonance only in the confused silence of usually quick-on-the-draw Western embassies and human rights defenders.
But as accurately explained by Alexander Mercouris, the pressure that has been brought on the Church in Montenegro is not an isolated phenomenon but part of a “broader pattern.” That includes unbridled meddling by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul throughout the Orthodox world, and not just in the recent high profile example of the Ukraine. It also includes high-pressure State Department “religious diplomacy” aiming to align major centres of Orthodox religious authority in the Balkans and the Middle East with Western strategic goals. That can ultimately be reduced to but a single element: politically isolating and blocking Russia by rupturing its ties to the rest of the Orthodox communion because, in the perception of Western strategists, the Russian Orthodox Church is a key lever of Russia’s “soft power” influence.
The pretentious Ecumenical Patriarchate, confined to a few buildings in the Fanar neighborhood of Istanbul, without laity of any consequence to give it weight, chronically strapped financially, with decrees of “canonical recognition” for schismatic sects designated by NATO as future components of its “nation building” operations as its only salable commodity, and dependent entirely upon the toleration of the Turkish government hosting it, is an ideal tool for such geopolitical manipulation and blackmail.
Ukraine, and the infamous “Tomos,” or letter of recognition, granted by the Patriarchate to certain break-away Orthodox factions on its territory, is of course a vivid case in point. But it does not exhaust the subject.
Just recently, in Macedonia the Patriarch in Istanbul became involved in an analogous situation when he officially received a delegation from Skopje and agreed to “consider” granting autocephaly (independence) to the dioceses there that decades ago, as part of a “nation building” scheme promoted by the former Communist regime, had broken away from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The mere fact that Patriarch Bartholomew would have taken such a step (unfortunately no longer unprecedented after the Ukrainian episode) and would have gone over the heads of Serbian church authorities in Belgrade to publicly contemplate such a disruptive step, is highly indicative. With all due respect for Orthodox believers in Macedonia, the advancement of this agenda, in the context of the installation of a slavishly pro-Western government and impending incorporation into NATO structures, is simply too much to be regarded as a mere coincidence. It more likely is part of another political project, only now under different auspices.
Furthermore, a recent scholarly conference held in Salonica, Greece, in October of last year, also demonstrates just how unsubtly the Ecumenical Patriarch is prepared to render valuable political services, again to the Western power block, in disregard of church canons or even the sentiments of his Orthodox coreligionists. Organized by Greek NGO “Byzantine Salonica,” which is close to the Patriarchy and officially is tasked with promoting the Byzantine civilization, the gathering asserted as its official view that Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo historically was one of the focal points of the Orthodox faith, but clearly represented as an independent country, separate from Serbia. To drive the point home, the conference began with a liturgy which included the commemoration, and thus official recognition, of the schismatic Ukrainian “metropolitan” Epiphaniy Dumenko, who recently was recognized by the Patriarch in Istanbul as a separate entity in disregard of the views and arguments of the Russian Church.
The slaps in the face of the Serbian Orthodox Church are perhaps best understood in the context of intensifying pressure on Serbia, which is now the only remaining major non-NATO country in the Balkans and also Russia’s traditional ally.
The analogies in the high-handed treatment of the Russian and Serbian churches are striking, even to the politically untrained eye. That, among other things, is what makes this situation particularly tragic because a trained political perspective should never be a prerequisite for accurately assessing the conduct and motives of religious institutions and dignitaries.
Originally published on 2020-01-22
Author: Stephen Karganovic
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
The official end of the Cold War era in 1989 brought during the first coming years a kind of international optimism that the idea of the „end of history“ really could be realized as it was a belief in no reason for the geopolitical struggles between the most powerful states. The New World Order, spoken out firstly by M. Gorbachev in his address to the UN on December 7th, 1988 was originally seen as the order of equal partnership in the world politics reflecting „radically different international circumstances after the Cold War“.
Unfortunately, the Cold War era finished without the „end ...
As the contemporary Corona virus hysteria narrative continues to collapse (here and here) another dubious narrative, launched a quarter of a century ago – Srebrenica genocide – comes to mind. The common thread of both narratives is that they have just enough genuine elements to provide a seemingly plausible foundation for a vastly exaggerated tale. The Covid-19 virus can endanger health, and even be lethal, to certain classes of the population, but how much more than that is it? In Srebrenica in July of 1995, about a thousand Muslim prisoners were executed by a rogue outfit of the Serb army. ...
A National traumaA national trauma which the Serbs after the fall of the Serbian national state and the Ottoman occupation experienced after June 20th, 1459[i] can be compared with that felt by Judea’s Jews after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.[ii] Since Serbia soon found herself well within the Ottoman Sultanate and the European Christian states were on defense from the victorious Muslim Ottoman Turks, no light at the end of the historical tunnel was seen and the whole nation sank into deep despair for the next four centuries. In a sense, the ...
The U.S. public loves fascists; they elect them, constantly. Donald Trump, who “says he would raise the minimum wage and stop the endless efforts at regime change,” is called a fascist by some. But Hillary Clinton “is happy to bomb Libya or Syria or any other country,” and played a major role in mass Black incarceration. Barack Obama is the war-maker and deporter-in-chief. “All of the major party candidates fit the F word description in some way.”“No one comes into office with any intention of undoing America’s leadership as the world’s worst jailer.”Donald Trump is the ill spoken, boorish, graceless ...
Since putschists usurping power in Ukraine launched war without mercy in April 2014 against freedom fighters in Donbass rejecting fascist rule, Washington provided political and military support.Under Obama, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) funding included hundreds of millions of dollars to Kiev for weapons and other material support, along with training by US special forces.Trump may increase support for escalated aggression. A Pentagon and State Department proposal calls for supplying Javelin missiles, possibly along with anti-aircraft weapons.Claiming these and other US-supplied weapons are only for defense, not offense, ignores where they’ll be deployed – along the contact line, separating armed ...
“Russia suspected of election scheme. U.S. probes plan to sow voter distrust.”That’s the Washington Post page-one lead headline of September 6. Think about it. The election that Americans are suffering through, cringing in embarrassment, making them think of moving abroad, renouncing their citizenship; an election causing the Founding Fathers to throw up as they turn in their graves … this is because the Russian Devils are sowing voter distrust! Who knew?But of course, that’s the way Commies are – Oh wait, I forgot, they’re no longer Commies. So what are they? Ah yes, they still have that awful old hangup so worthy ...
Imagine that Vladimir Putin were not a murderous autocrat and kleptocrat who has spent his fourteen years in power living up to his KGB past and dragging Russia ever back towards Communist autocracy, illiberalism, and expansionism. Imagine that instead he were one of the greatest leaders that Russia has had, whose policies have helped produce a massive rise in living standards and life expectancy, recuperation of national pride, and enforcement of the rule of law, who has tackled kleptocrats and gangsters wisely and well, whose foreign policy has on balance been realistic, diplomatic, and conducive to peace, who has presided ...
Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being actively demolished after their inhabitants were expelled.
The letter denounced Israel’s newly-founded Herut party and its young leader, Menachem Begin.
Herut was carved out of the Irgun terrorist gang, famous for its many massacres against Palestinian Arab communities leading up to the Nakba, the catastrophic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their historic homeland in 1947-48.
In the letter, Einstein, ...
I travel frequently to the countries which once made up the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, satisfying a passion of mine that stems back to my childhood days. For me, the Balkans’ history, its people and its cultures are both enigmatic and magnetic, as they have been, too, for countless others, of many nationalities, over centuries gone by. Accounting for the enchantment of the Balkans, its captivating allure, is a challenge to put into writing. Because no words can truly embellish what is one of the most absorbing parts of the world. To understand and feel what it is ...
2015 has become a year of living dangerously.
Wars are spreading across the globe.
Wars are escalating as new countries are bombed and the old are ravaged with ever greater intensity.
Countries, where relatively peaceful changes had taken place through recent elections, are now on the verge of civil wars.
These are wars without victors, but plenty of losers; wars that don’t end; wars where imperial occupations are faced with prolonged resistance.
There are never-ending torrents of war refugees flooding across borders. Desperate people are detained, degraded and criminalized for being the survivors and victims of imperial invasions.
Now major nuclear powers ...
An establishment pillar of the European ‘order’ – the Frankfurter Allgemeiner newspaper – explicitly touches the ‘live rail’, which is to say, it ran an op-ed last month titled ‘A Nazi EU?’, speculating on whether or not the present EU, dominated by Germany, should be understood as a lineal extension of German National Socialism. This has not before been an issue at all touched upon in mainstream German discourse. That it appears at all signals something important: a recognition that the dissidence being experienced by the EU has its roots in something other than just populist grievance tantrums. It is the resurfacing of ...
SaveSaveOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Can the world wake up?
On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:
Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.
The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, ...
Four men, accused of being partisans, are alleged to have been buried alive. The wife of a partisan is said to have been “pierced by bayonets and drowned in a garbage pit” [искололи тело штыками и утопили в помойной яме].
The author (who is unnamed) states that his own elderly father was taken as a hostage by Allied forces from the town of Kharitonovka [Харитоновка]. He was returned home alive but in a bloodied condition. He is said to have died a few days later, after asking “Why did they torture me…”? [За что меня замучили]. The man is said to ...
When an intelligence agency arranges to disseminated fake news it is called “disinformation” and it is a subset of what is referred to as covert action, basically secret operations run in a foreign country to influence opinion or to disrupt the functioning of a government or group that is considered to be hostile.During the Cold War, disinformation operations were run by many of the leading players in both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in the opposition Warsaw Pact. Sometimes the activity and the sponsorship were clearly visible, as when Radio Free Europe and Radio Moscow would exchange barbs about ...
More than a decade and a half after the US-NATO- under international law illegal – war aggression against Yugoslavia using highly toxic and radioactive uranium projectiles, the enormity of this war crime becomes clear: In Serbia, aggressive cancer among young and old has reached epidemic proportions.
The suffering of the people cries out to heaven. Particularly affected is the south of Serbia and Kosovo. According to the Serbian Ministry of Health, every day a child suffers from cancer. The entire country is contaminated. By harming the genetic material (DNA) generation after generation, malformed children will be born. Knowingly and willfully, a genocide ...
CNN explained well “5 surprising lessons from Trump’s astonishing win”, and the historic crushing failure of traditional Presidential-year American politics, but it really boils down to one simple fact: In the battleground states, where most of the advertising dollars and get-out-the-vote money was being spent, the Trump organization made use of the Republican-Party organization in those portions of the campaign-operation that benefited from those established contacts and its tried-and-tested methods and techniques, but not in the portions of the campaign-operation that needed to be improved and to function better than in all prior U.S. Presidential elections.
The simple fact is that ...
The Conservative party released its plan to scrap the Human Rights Act if it won the General Election. Secretary of State Chris Grayling said they’d also be prepared to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, unless they were allowed to veto judgements from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
They won and the plan is going ahead.
Included in the Human Rights Act are fundamental rights and freedoms that all individuals within the UK have access to – such as the right to life, the freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to a fair ...
Columbus made four voyages to the New World.  The initial voyage reveals several important things about the man. First, he had genuine courage because few ship’s captains had ever pointed their prow toward the open ocean, the complete unknown. Secondly, from numerous of his letters and reports we learn that his overarching goal was to seize wealth that belonged to others, even his own men, by whatever means necessary.
Columbus’s Spanish royal sponsors (Ferdinand and Isabella) had promised a lifetime pension to the first man who sighted land. A few hours after midnight on October 12, 1492, Juan Rodriguez Bermeo, ...
Universal Periodic Review reveals longstanding unwillingness to fully commit to obligations of pertinent human rights treaties.
On 11 May 2015, the United States of America participated in its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review is meant to be a mechanism by which all UN Member States are periodically assessed on their human rights record. The process allows countries to present a report of their efforts to promote and improve human rights within their country. It also affords the Working Group of the UPR, comprised of member countries of the Human Rights Council, the opportunity to assess the human ...
Did the Cold War Ever Really End?
A Curious Analogy – Coronavirus Misrepresentations Follow Srebrenica Script
Western Kosovo Meta-Mythology and Serbian Ethnohistory
Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton: Who’s the Fascist?
US Helping Ukrainian Putschists Wage War on Donbass
Cold War, Today, Tomorrow, Every Day till the End of the World
Albert Einstein on Israel
The Balkans: Endurance, Endeavour and the Resistance to Foreign Oppression
The Age of Imperial Wars: From Regional War, “Regime Change” to Global Warfare
Suddenly Europe is an Open Question – ‘A Nazi EU?’
Save Donbass People from Ukrainian Euromaidan Army
Somnolent Europe, Russia, and China: Accept US Hegemony or Go to War?
100 Years Ago US Troops Attacked Russia’s Pacific Coast and Committed Atrocities
70 Years of Disinformation: How the CIA Funded Opinion Magazines in Europe
Aftermath of the US-NATO War on Yugoslavia: The Unspoken Impacts of Radioactive Depleted Uranium Ammunition
Trump’s Win wasn’t Ideological?
Targeting Key Individuals, Stifling Free Speech, Arbitrary Detention, Withdrawing Rights
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre for Justice