Moscow turns ownership of public monasteries over to Orthodox Church

Well here is a step forward. :slight_smile:

Even if it doesn’t make everyone happy. At least that is how it looks to me. I would be happy to be corrected.

In January, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered the handover, which will make Novodevichy a fully functioning convent for the first time since the Bolsheviks seized the property almost a century ago. But the directive may also force museums to relinquish thousands of icons and other worship-related items that originally belonged to the site, so they, too, can be used once again in religious ceremonies.

But critics allege the mass giveaway of art and real estate to the church endangers precious artifacts, removes vast swaths of Russia’s heritage from the public sphere, and cements a controversial political compact between church and Kremlin.

Some critics allege the Kremlin is violating the spirit of Russia’s 1993 Constitution, which mandates separation of church and state, by restoring the Orthodox Church to its traditional czarist-era role as ideological pillar of the government. They say that the policy was authored by Putin, who turned away from democratic ways of securing public consent, and resorted to buying the backing of the church.

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