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 welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants” (Albert Camus 1913-1960)
On 1st May 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.” (1)
The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again ...
This article first published in March 2014 at the very outset of the Ukraine crisis explains the nature of the Kiev proxy regime. we are dealing with a Neo-Nazi government supported by “Western democracy” and the “international community”.
According to the New York Times, “The United States and the European Union have embraced the revolution here as another flowering of democracy, a blow to authoritarianism and kleptocracy in the former Soviet space.” ( After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility, NYTimes.com, March 1, 2014, emphasis added).
“Flowering Democracy, Revolution”? The grim realities are otherwise. What is a stake is a ...
Odd as it may seem, October 5, 2000 was not the first time the Western powers engaged in “regime change” in Serbia. There are many similarities between the October 5 regime change and the Western involvement in putting the government of Josip Broz Tito and the Communist Party in charge of Yugoslavia in 1945.
Just as Slobodan Milošević received faint praise from the West as “factor of peace and stability” in the Balkans, General Draža Mihailović was praised by the Western Allies during the war – yet support for both was limited mostly to words and empty propaganda gestures, and only so ...
Americans are outraged by allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an intelligence service to hack email accounts of the Democratic National Committee. How inexpressibly heinous that one country, Russia, would try to influence elections in another sovereign country, in this case the United States! How unprecedented! How diabolical! How uniquely Russian!In response, the Obama administration has expelled Russian diplomats, hinted at economic sanctions, and promised further retaliation using America’s “world-class arsenal of cyber weapons.” (NYT Dec. 16, 2016) Obama’s Republican opponents, for their part, have demanded “rocks” instead of Obama’s “pebbles.”But does the USA meddle in the presidential elections ...
The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s main evidence thus far in his “Russiagate” probe is not actually about possible Russian collusion with Trump to win the Presidency, but instead about definite Israeli collusion with Trump after Trump had already won the Presidency but before he became inaugurated. As a lawyer explained on the day when Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was indicted in a plea-deal: “Mr. Flynn has just become the prosecution’s star witness.” What Flynn had pled to was his trying to obtain Russia’s support for Israel’s Government, against the Palestinians. Russia said no; Putin said no to Flynn’s request, ...
Today, Memorial Day, Americans across the land will hear the same message: that U.S. soldiers who have died in America’s foreign wars and foreign interventions have done so in the defense of our rights and freedoms. It is a message that will be heard in sporting events, memorial services, airports, churches, and everywhere else that Memorial Day is being commemorated.
There is one big thing wrong, however. It’s a lie. None of those soldiers died protecting our rights and freedoms. That’s because our rights and freedoms were never being threatened by the enemy forces that killed those soldiers.
Let’s work our way ...
On Sunday September 24, 2017, the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada in collaboration with another 15 organizations celebrated the publication of the new book “Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923”, at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. The book consists of academic papers presented at the 2013 Academic Conference that the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center (AMPHRC) organized at the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Illinois.The event featured a keynote presentation by the editor of the book and noted historian Mr. George Shirinian. Mr. Shirinian is the Executive Director of the Zoryan Institute, an ...
Many of us go through life searching for our purpose, for something that we are passionate about. After years of searching finally I stumbled upon mine a few years ago. Having the world hear Syrians telling their side of the story while living through this imposed war is what ignited that fire in me. As a Syrian American that was born in Syria and lived in both countries my entire life, I feel a strong link to my heritage, my birth country, my culture, my language, my customs, my nationality, and my history.
We have been bombarded with lies and propaganda ...
A massive destruction of the Ottoman (Orthodox Christian) Armenian population in 1915−1916 is probably the greatest atrocity committed during the WWI and for sure a first 20th century case of the genocide as up to 1.500.000 ethnic Armenians were executed by the Ottoman authorities and their collaborators (the Kurds). As a consequence, the survivors are scattered across the globe. Today it is already a century old event, but the issue of the 1915−1916 Armenian Genocide is undoubtedly still alive and divisive political issue firstly between the Armenians and the Turks but also and among the western “liberal democracies” on the ...
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių, Vilniaus gyventojai džiaugsmingai sutiko tarybinius karius-išvaduotojus.
1939 metų kovo 22 d. Lietuvos prezidento A.Smetonos įgaliotas premjeras Mironas, Užsienio reikalų ministras J.Urbšys, Lietuvos pasiuntinys Vokietijoje ir kartu Abvero agentas K.Škirpa “patriotiškai” atiduoda Klaipėdos kraštą nacistinei Vokietijai “istoriniam teisingumui atkurti” , kaip teigiama pačioje sutartyje.
Anksčiau A. Smetona nuolankiai atidavė Vilnių ir Vilniaus kraštą Lenkijai, Europos hienai, kaip ją pavadino Anglijos premjeras V. Čerčilis. Lenkija viena iš pirmųjų 1934 metais pasirašė su nacistine Vokietija Hitlerio-Pilsudskio Nepuolimo paktą ir iki pat 1939-09-01, kai nacistinė Vokietija užpuolė savo “partnerę”, bendradarbiavo su nacistais, laikė juos savo strateginiais ...
With rare exception, the question of whether the atomic bombs were necessary to end World War Two is debated only deep within the safety of academic circles.
Could a land invasion have been otherwise avoided? Would more diplomacy have achieved the same ends without the destruction of two cities? Could an atomic test on a deserted island have convinced the Japanese? Was the surrender instead driven primarily by the entry of the Soviets into the Pacific War, which, by historical accident, took place two days after Hiroshima—and the day before Nagasaki was immolated?
But it is not only the history of the ...
American capitalism is based on plunder. With the continental USA plundered, American capitalism hoped to continue enriching itself by plundering Russia as it did under Yeltsin, carefully including the Russian “Atlanticist Integrationists” in the spoils in order to have support from the liberal, progressive forces in Russia for stripping Russia of its assets. But Putin more or less put a halt to the American/Israeli rape of Russia, although it still continues through the neoliberal economics that Harvard brainwashed into the Russian central bank and economics profession. Brainwashed Russian economists are the main reason Washington is able to punish a powerful ...
The paradox of the current global crisis is that for the last five years, all relatively responsible and independent nations have made tremendous efforts to save the United States from the financial, economic, military, and political disaster that looms ahead. And this is all despite Washington’s equally systematic moves to destabilize the world order, rightly known as the Pax Americana (“American peace”).
Since policy is not a zero-sum game, i.e., one participant’s loss does not necessarily entail a gain for another, this paradox has a logical explanation. A crisis erupts within any system when there is a discrepancy between its internal ...
The political and, in some cases, military stand-off between the West and Russia that has unfolded over Ukraine and Syria also includes a number of secondary fronts in which the two actors’ interests clash. The Baltic States, a long dormant political issue, reactivated itself following the Ukrainian coup of 2014, as the leaders of these states believed that they could benefit from fanning the flames of conflict. In that they were likely mistaken, as the status of the Baltics in the future of the European order is far from certain.The coup in Ukraine and the subsequent defection of Crimea from ...
In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.”The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed.According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling evidence of forced disappearances, organ trafficking, corruption and collusion between ...
The North Macedonian House of Representatives unanimously approved on Monday for their country to accept the NATO Accession Protocol, taking the former Yugoslav Republic a step closer towards accession into NATO which is expected to be completed and finalized in the spring. North Macedonia’s rapid accession into NATO is only possible because of the Prespa Agreement signed between Athens and Skopje in June 2018, bringing an end to the name dispute between the two countries that emerged in 1991 with the breakup of Yugoslavia.The Prespa Agreement, named after a lake that traverses the borders of Greece, North Macedonia and Albania, defined ...
When at the 1878 Berlin Congress Serbia and Montenegro had to become recognized as sovereign states, the Muslim Albanian representatives tried to initiate the same for their own national state or wider autonomy within the Ottoman Empire which they considered as their own national state.They founded the (First) Prizren League in Metochia (the western portion of contemporary Kosovo). However, this Islamic initiative failed with Bismarck’s explicit rejection to speak about Albanian nationality as nonexistent at all in Europe at that time as they have been considered as the Turks. At the same time, the Albanian national movement Rilindja was initiated, ...
The horrendous bloodshed this week in Gaza is directly related to US President Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the American embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
The US bears responsibility in large part for the atrocity in which more than 60 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli military. This was a cold-blooded massacre.
Thousands of others were maimed from live fire. An eight-month-old baby girl, Layla Ghandour, was among the victims after she died from asphyxiation from tear gas fired at the protesters.
Washington’s shameless defense of Israel’s brutal use of lethal force as “restrained” and its subsequent blocking of an ...
Many of the world’s most repressive dictators have been friends of America. Tyrants, torturers, killers, and sundry dictators and corrupt puppet-presidents have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to US interests. Traditional dictators seize control through force, while constitutional dictators hold office through voting fraud or severely restricted elections, and are frequently puppets and apologists for the military juntas which control the ballot boxes. In any case, none have been democratically elected by the majority of their people in fair and open elections.
They are democratic America’s undemocratic allies. They may rise to power through bloody ClA-backed coups ...
I graduated from the exact same PHD Program at Harvard that produced Kissinger and Brzezinski before me. They gave me Kissinger’s old office at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. I also went through the exact same Soviet/Russian Studies Program at Harvard that produced Brzezinski before me, and passed my PHD Oral/General Examinations in Soviet Politics and Russian History under Adam Ulam and Ned Keenan, respectively. R.I.P. Obama was behind me at Harvard Law School.
Brzezinski has been Obama’s mentor and foreign policy guru since Obama’s student days at Columbia. Zbig ran Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on foreign affairs and defense, and ...
Death and Destruction in Iraq, Extensive US War Crimes: Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS
The U.S. has Installed in 2014 a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine
“Regime Change” in Serbia, 1945 and 2000
US Meddling in 1996 Russian Elections in Support of Boris Yeltsin
“Russiagate” is Actually “Israelgate”: Trump as “Agent of Israel”, not of Russia?
Memorial Day is Based on a Lie
Book Presentation on the Genocide of the Christians of Asia Minor
Export of Kosovostan Jihad in the Middle East: The Christian Genocide in Syria
The 1915−1916 Armenian Genocide: An Ideology, Course and Consequences
1939 metų rugsėjo 19 d. Tarybinė armija įžengė į Vilnių
American Capitalism is Based on Plunder
Time is Running Out For Pax Americana’s Apologists
Baltic States Between Russia and a Hard Place
“Mafia State”: Kosovo’s PM Accused of Running Human Organ, Drug Trafficking Cartel
North Macedonia Is Being Used by NATO to Target Serbia and Russia
Behind the Project of a Greater Albania
US Complicity in Gaza Massacre
The U.S. Friendly Dictators
The Anti-Russian Warmongering