The Religious Roots of Russia’s Mistrust towards the West


There is one thing in the Russian collective reminiscence which causes Russian distrust towards the West. Does this distrust have spiritual roots? 

This article from our archives was first printed on RI in November 2014


This publish first appeared on Russia Insider


I would not utterly disagree with some of the points made in the article “Anti-Western Sentiment as the Basis for Russian Unity,” closely criticized by fellow RI contributor Eric Kraus.

Russian id has a deeper anti-Western sentiment than implied by the current rise of anti-Western sentiment amongst Russians, primarily brought on by what’s perceived as US and NATO aggression.

St. Alexander Nevsky stopped the absorption of Russia into Catholic Europe and thus saved the Russian Orthodox religion

So what’s one of the fundamental causes of Russia’s historic distrust towards the West?

For centuries, the Vatican tried to transform Russian Orthodox Christians to Catholicism. And they succeeded in doing so with Orthodox Christians in Western Ukraine and in components of the Western Balkans. Even immediately, Vatican zealotry is alive and properly. The Vatican is attempting to attain a “church union with Orthodox Christians,” of course under the primacy of the Pope.

Foreign invaders – the Vatican along with Swedish and Polish forces, Napoleon, Hitler and NATO – have been seen as violent symbols of Western civilization.

However, Russian id shouldn’t be fashioned as a response or historic reflex to Western expansionism. In its nature, Russian tradition shouldn’t be anti-Western or based mostly on antagonism towards overseas civilizations or ideas.

Many Russians would argue that Russian id belongs to a distinct civilization “code” as a successor of the nice Byzantine custom and civilization. That’s the motive the Russian Empire was for hundreds of years thought-about the Third Rome. Orthodox civilization differs from its Western counterpart in phrases of values, custom, faith, and so forth. 

Just learn Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations. Huntington claims that folks’s cultural and spiritual identities will likely be the main supply of battle in the post-Cold War world. Many would argue that that is precisely what is going on in immediately’s world. Most of the current conflicts have both spiritual or cultural causes. In addition, bloody civil wars in the Balkans and now in Ukraine have had strong religious and civilizational dimension to them. 

Let’s not overlook that many American and European Christian conservatives help Putin as a result of of his Christian vision and pro-family values. Maybe they’re fed up with their very own governments’ overtly anti-Christian and anti-family method to social points?



This publish first appeared on Russia Insider

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