HOME PAGE    MEET US    HOLY BIBLE    BIBLIOTHECA THEOLOGICA "PORPHYROGENITUS"
   BOOKSHOP  HOLY SHRINE OF SAINT BARBARA    THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE  
Lord's Voice | Diakonia | Links | Baptism | Multimedia

back


Ethnicity, Nationalism and Religion

George Tsetsis, The Orthodox Church in a Pluralistic World,
Geneva 2004, ed. Emmanuel Clapsis, WWC, p. 148158.

 

Any form of national egotism whereby the love of one's own people leads to the suppression of other nationalities or national minorities, or to the failure to respect and appreciate the gifts of other people, is a sin and rebellion against God, who is the Creator and Lord of all peoples (1).

If I start by quoting this aphorism of the 1937 Life and Work conference in Oxford, it is to recall that the subject of ethnicity, nationalism and religion did not appear only recently in the ecumenical agenda, following the eruption of ethnic conflicts in several parts of the world in the last two or three decades. Churches involved in the Life and Work and Faith and Order movements in the 1920s and 1930s and, after their amalgamation in 1938, in the World Council of Churches, have dealt extensively with these crucial issues, prompted by alarming developments in Europe during the interwar years, and later in the aftermath of the second world war. But even before that, in the late 19th century the Orthodox Church was compelled to deal with the issue of ethnicity, when nationalistic disputes in the Balkans started to threaten Orthodox unity. However, the proliferation in the last few years of ethnic conflicts and regional wars, stimulated by nationalistic aspirations almost in every continent, has encouraged the churches to deepen reflection on these issues, in order to be able to contribute to the resolution of conflicts. The study initiated by Faith and Order in 1990, on the topic "Ethnic Identity, National Identity and the Search for the Unity of the Church", is an evidence of the churches' will to reflect deeply on these burning issues. It was therefore quite timely to include this issue in the agenda of the present conference, and I thank its conveners for asking me to present the subject.

If for a Greek-speaking person it is relatively easy to deliver a conference address in English or French about the meaning of religion, it is not so simple to do the same as far as ethnicity and nationalism are concerned. Simply because in the Greek language these two notions, both originating from the word ethnos that literally means "nation" - very often overlap and lead to confusion. For example nationality corresponds to ethnikotes in Greek, "nationalism" to ethnikismos and "ethinicity" to ethnismos. Therefore before speaking about ethnicity and nationalism to religion and to the Church in particular, it will be helpful first to clarify the meaning of these two currently used.

 

Definitions some examples

Ethnologists, anthropologists, historians and politicians have made many attempts to define the meaning of the terms ethnicity, ethnic group" and "nation". Let me give some examples.

According to Richard Schermerhorn, a pioneer of the study of ethnic relations, an "ethnic group" is a collectivity within a larger society, having real or putative common ancestry, common memory of a historical past, and a cultural focus on one or more symbolic elements defined as the epitome of their people hood: for example, kinship patterns, physical continuity, religious affiliation, language, nationality and a consciousness of kin among members of the group. For Joshua Fishman "ethnicity" was always experienced as a kinship phenomenon, as a continuity within the self and within those who share an intergenerational link to common ancestors. In this sense ethnicity is a tangible, living reality that makes every human a link in an eternal bond from generation to generation, from past ancestors to those in the future. For anthropologist Fredrik Barth, the term "ethnic group" designates a population that is largely biologically self-perpetuating, that shares fundamental cultural values, and has a membership which identifies itself as constituting a category distinguishable from other categories of people (2). For Steve Fenton, ethnicity is a social phenomenon embedded in social, political and economic structures that form an important element of both the way ethnicity is expressed and the social importance it assumes (3).

As to "nation" and "nationalism", an interesting definition of the term "nation" is given by The International Relations Dictionary, which asserts that a nation is a social group that shares a common ideology, common institutions and customs, a sense of homogeneity, as well a sense of being associated with a particular territory, considered to be peculiarly its own (4). From his perspective, Ernest Renan believes that a nation is grounded in common history, language and culture. It is a soul, a spiritual principle, and the end-product of a long period of work, sacrifice and devotion. It presupposes a past, but it resumes itself in the present by a tangible fact: the clearly expressed desire to continue life in common. On the other hand, according to Joseph Stalin, a nation is a historically constituted community of people and not a tribal or racial entity. It is not a casual or ephemeral conglomeration, but a stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up, manifested in a common culture. For anthropologist Clifford Geertz, in addition to common history, language, culture and territory, the basic components that make up a nation include religion and custom (5).

From the point of view of the consultation on "Ethnicity and Nationalism" held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November 1994 which was jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, "ethnicity" is a collective group consciousness defined by reference to a configuration of elements, such as language, homeland, descent, religion and values; while "nationalism" is a collective group consciousness built around the boundaries of an actual or perceived nationhood. As to "religion", it constitutes a key factor that shapes the identity and character of a community on the basis of doctrines, rituals and a code of behavior and ethical values (6).

Beside these definitions, however, one should add that "ethnicity", in its meaning as ethnismos is also identical to love of and dedication to one's homeland, as well as to national consciousness and patriotism. On the other hand, nationalism, in the sense of ethnismos, could certainly mean attachment to national ideals, but it could also be synonymous with chauvinism or phyletism, when it fails to acknowledge, or deliberately ignores, the distinctiveness of the others. The crucial issue is how to discern healthy and legitimate nationalism in the sense of philopatria (love of the country) aiming at the prosperity of a people and the preservation of its national and cultural identity, from those corrosive and divisive forms of chauvinistic ethno-nationalisms that result in wars and endless conflicts.

This is the challenge that we all face today, following the socio-political developments in the second half of the 20th century in many parts of the world, and particularly in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus since 1990.

In the preface to a collective volume they edited in 1996, John Hutchinson and Anthony D. Smith pointed out that after the surfacing of ethnic movements in the 1950s in Asia and Africa, and later on in the 1960s and 1970s in Europe and the Americas, and more particularly after the disintegration in 1990 of the Soviet Union, in the territory of which emerged within a few years some twenty new nations and countries "based largely upon dominant ethnic communities,... ethnicity has become a central issue in the social and political life of every continent" (7).

It is worth noting that this assertion was almost identical with the view formulated two years earlier by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in an address he delivered at the opening session of the conference on peace and tolerance, convened by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in cooperation with the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (Istanbul, 79 February 1994 ). Referring to the fratricidal war which was then devastating Yugoslavia, as well as to ethnic conflicts affecting at that time Central Asia and the Caucasus, Patriarch Bartholomew remarked that "nationalism remains one of the central problems of the Church", which ought to be answered "in a deep and uncompromising ecumenical spirit". And after having urged those in power "to overcome divisions and disputes brought about by excessive nationalism", the Patriarch reiterated the appeal made by the Orthodox Primates at the conclusion of their first, in modern times, summit meeting ( synaxis ) at the Phanar in March 1992, calling on all religious leaders to offer "particular attention, pastoral responsibility and wisdom inspired by God, in order to avoid the exploitation of sentiments for political and nationalistic reasons" (8).

This was a legitimate pastoral concern of paramount importance, for the simple reason that, following the rapid and quasicosmogonical socio-political changes which occurred in Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, after the abrupt collapse of the "Eastern bloc" and the marginalization of its totalitarian ideology, the spectre that started haunting Western societies was, according to Ali Rattansi, "no longer communism, but a series of racisms and ethno-nationalisms" (9).

 

Nationalism and its consequences

One has to admit, however, that the ethno-nationalism to which Rattansi refers is not a new phenomenon which sprang up in the aftermath of the dislocation of the Soviet Union and of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The concept of ethno-nationalism emerged in the 19th century, as a consequence of the Enlightenment, and when nation-states began to replace multinational empires, thus becoming the political model par excellence. And to be more accurate one could say that in fact "since the French revolution nationalism has been the main spiritual and emotional force cementing all the elements of statehood into nation-states" (10).

In July 1966, at a crucial moment of modern history, when the world was undergoing a revolutionary social change after the end of colonialism and the creation of new states particularly in the southern hemisphere, the WCC convened in Geneva a world conference on Church and Society, in order to discuss the role of Christians in face of the technical and social revolutions of our time. Referring to these newly created, or to be created, states, this highly important conference, unique in the ecumenical chronicles, admitted that "a sense of nationalism is essential for the building of a new nation". After having asserted this, however, the conference added that this nationalism ought not to be confused with any kind of aggressive nationalism that leads to wars and conflicts, but on the contrary it "must be based on the equality of nations and on mutual cooperation. It should be a means of achieving integration and not become an instrument for emphasizing the divisions which in the past were ethnic, religious or frontier issues" (11).

Yet, political developments in Africa, Asia and the Middle East in the course of the second half of the 20th century, or the changes that occurred in the former Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, demonstrated that in many cases national emancipation had disastrous consequences. The armed conflict between India and Pakistan, continuing even today over the issue of Kashmir; the Arab-Israeli wars over the still-unresolved question of Palestine; the civil war in Lebanon; the deadlock created after the occupation and division of Cyprus; the clash between Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka; the bloody confrontation of Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda; the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea; and more recently the tragic fratricidal wars in the territory of Former Yugoslavia; the conflict between Armenians and Azeris over the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh; the armed confrontation of Russians and Chechens or of Georgians and Abkhasians in the Caucasus these are only a few flagrant examples of the fact that conflicts created by the aspirations and apprehensions of ethno-nationalism have become a source of instability and threat to world peace.

The question that preoccupied the wider public opinion all these years was whether religion constituted a key factor in the resurgence of ethnic conflicts. This very question was insistently raised and commented in different ways, particularly after the break-out of the civil war in Yugoslavia, when the belligerents were depicted not so much on the basis of their nationalistic, ideological and geopolitical aspirations, but rather on the basis of their religious affiliation. That is to say, "Serbian Orthodox against Croatian Roman Catholics", "Bosnian Muslims against Serbian Orthodox", "Christian Croats and Serbs against Muslims of Bosnia", "Roman Catholic Croats and Bosnian Muslims against Orthodox Bosno -Serbians"! The same religious character was attributed earlier to the Lebanese civil war, although the root cause of this conflict was not any theological dispute between Shiite Islam and Maronite Christianity, but the misery and the subsequent revolt of the populations of the Beka'a -Valley and of the Palestinian refugee camps, who could no longer stand the provocative life-style of a Lebanese elite, formed both by Christians and Sunnite Muslims. And, in fact, as Tarek Mitri once remarked, "on both sides of the barricades there were people who never went to the church or to the mosque, who have never read the Qu'ran or the gospel" (12).

It is worth mentioning also that at the height of the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and later during the NATO raids in Serbia and Montenegro following the Kosovo crisis, there were attempts to qualify these events as nothing else but a new crusade of the " Catholico -Protestant West" against the "Orthodox East". Some (e.g. the French psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva ), even invoked the theological controversy of Orthodox and Roman Catholics over the filioque clause, in order to explain Nato's attitude vis-a-vis Serbia. Whether it was Clinton and Blair, Chirac and Schroeder, Milosevic, Putin or Simitis, in listening to talk about the term filioque, they would ask in astonishment, "What are you talking about?" (13)!

During these tragic years, churches and ecumenical organizations repeatedly tried to dissociate the religious element from the various ethnic conflicts and confrontations that shook the Balkans and the Caucasus and attempted to mediate for peace and reconciliation. For example, the assembly of bishops of the Orthodox Church of Serbia in its encyclical of May 1993 indicated that the chief causes and actors of the misfortune of the peoples of Yugoslavia were not the religious communities of this country, but the power-holders "no matter which side they belong to, who by spirit, mentality and methods were all trained in the same school of a totalitarian, godless communist system" (14). This point was reiterated explicitly and unambiguously later by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro during a conference organized in Brussels by Pax Christi, namely that the war in Yugoslavia was not a religious war encouraged by religious leaders, but a civil war "to which politicians and former communists gave religious coloration in order to exploit the religious factor in this conflict" (15).

Similarly, and always on the situation in Yugoslavia, the aforementioned conference on peace and tolerance was quite explicit when it stated that the war in former Yugoslavia is not a "religious war and that the appeals and exploitation of religious symbols to further the cause of aggressive nationalism are a betrayal of the universality of religious faith" (16). The same clear position was taken also over the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenian Catholicos Vasken I and the Azeri Sheikh ul Islam Pacha-Zadeh, who in a peace-making effort declared, "We firmly refuse the attempts to present this conflict as inter-religious. Those who preach hate among religions commit a heavy sin before the all-Highest (17).

From its side, the World Council of Churches as early as 1991 was describing the armed confrontation in Yugoslavia as "civil war" (18), and was challenging those involved in the hostilities "to resist every attempt to use religious sentiment and loyalty in the service of aggressive nationalism" (19). At the same time, the Conference of European Churches, inspired by the theme of the Second European Ecumenical Assembly (Graz 1997) "Reconciliation Gift of God and Source of New Life", and conscious of the fact that the ethnic conflicts in South Eastern Europe were jeopardizing European integration, was calling on the churches to undertake an "active role in peaceful resolution of the conflicts... and participate in the peace and reconciliation processes" (20).

Yet, one has to admit that although ethnic conflicts are not religious in essence, they nevertheless take on a religious character in cases where the belligerents belong to two different faiths. And most particularly when religious symbols are used in order to boost the fighting spirit of the combatants, or the nationalistic feelings of the masses. Flagrant examples of such exploitation of religious sentiments were given in many recent ethnic conflicts such as the war in Bosnia involving Christians and Muslims; the confrontation of Sinhalese Buddhists and Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka; the territorial dispute of Kashmir involving Muslims and Hindus; and the socio-political upheaval in Fiji involving indigenous Christians (Methodists) and Indian Hindu settlers. In all these conflicts the religious component was quite obvious. But, "a crime committed in the name of religion is a crime against religion" as the above-mentioned Bosphorus declaration stated (21).

Here lies precisely the responsibility of the Church, or of any other religious body. Namely, to act prophetically, and to be an agent of peace and reconciliation.

 

The effect of nationalism on the Orthodox Church

An immediate victim of the ethno-nationalism following the gradual dismantlement of the Ottoman empire in the 19th century and the subsequent creation of new nation-states in the Balkans was, undoubtedly, the Orthodox Church. Indeed, political aspirations, ethnic rivalries and the use of the religious factor in order to promote nationalistic ideas in the newly emerging states severely hit Orthodoxy and profoundly affected the very essence of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic (Orthodox) Church.

In the Ottoman empire, the Orthodox Church existed and gave its witness as a supranational entity, in spite of the ethnic origins and the cultural particularities of the peoples that formed the entire "Orthodox nation" (to genos ton Orthodoxon ) living in this vast empire. The emergence, however, of "national churches" within these newly formed nation-states "caused rivalry and hostility between neighbors, brought discord over jurisdictions, and created enemy images at the expense of the unity and the mission of the Church" (22). And interestingly enough, the nationalism that erupted among the Orthodox of all ethnic backgrounds of the empire was not directed only against the Muslim ruler, but also against fellow Orthodox.

For example, the Church of the newly independent Greek state broke its ties with the mother church of Constantinople, because, according to the theoretician of Greek nationalism Adamantios Korais, it was unthinkable for the clergy of free Greece to obey the instructions of a patriarch, captive in the Ottoman capital. In fact this was the argument used by the Orthodox Church of Romania when it submitted to Constantinople the request for autocephaly. On the other hand, Bulgarians could not tolerate any more Greek hierarchs on their soil, and Romanians could not accept the canonical rights of the Serbian Patriarchate in some areas of the Balkans. As a consequence of the gradual nationalization of the local Orthodox churches and the ecclesiastical disputes that followed, "the unity of the 'Orthodox commonwealth', which for almost ten centuries had extended over the whole of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, was irrevocably broken" (23). We are today the powerless witnesses of the end result of this fragmentation, when the Orthodox Church not only cannot speak and act as a single body, but even worse, is unable to convoke its great council that has been in preparation for 41 years (in fact 72 years, if we take into account the 1930 inter-Orthodox presynodical meeting of Mount Athos !).

If, however, the term "catholicity" denotes, according to John Karmiris, "the fullness of the one, true and perfect Church through which the salvation of the whole world is sought", one can easily detect the incompatibility between this ethno-nationalism, developed in the whole "Orthodox space" during the 19th century, and the Orthodox ecclesiological understanding of the catholicity of the Church. For Orthodoxy, it was a tragedy indeed to "reduce the universal and eternal Church, by identifying it with local 'national' churches, restricted geographically and unduly influenced by civilization, language, idiosyncrasy... and serving political purposes, dictated by nationalism, racism and chauvinism of peoples and states" (24).

It is precisely this narrow concept of ethno-nationalism, qualified as phyletism, that was condemned as heresy by the 1872 great council of Constantinople, attended also by the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch, as well as by the archbishop of Cyprus.

According to this council, nationalism or ethnophyletism was a perversion of normal patriotic sentiment and constituted the worst enemy of Orthodox unity. "In the Christian Church", the Council said, "which is a spiritual communion, predestined by its Lord to contain all nations in one brotherhood in Christ, phyletism is alien and unthinkable... All Christian churches founded in the early years were local and they were named after the town or the country of their residence and not after the ethnic origin of their people." The biblical terms '"Church of the Thessalonians', ' Church of Laodiceans ' etc., do not indicate an ethnic group, for there has never been either a Thessalonian or Laodicean nation. They refer to the faithful living in the cities of Thessalonica and Laodicea, regardless of their ethnic origins." After having observed that the creation of churches on ethnic grounds alone constituted a "mortal blow" against the faith in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, the council of Constantinople censured and vigorously condemned "racism, ethnic feuds, hatreds and dissentions within the Church of Christ, as contrary to the teaching of the gospel and the holy canons of our blessed fathers" (25). According to Vladimir Lossky, the decision of this great council ought to be the basis governing Orthodox relations. Lossky firmly believed that "every special conscience linking us with one national or political or cultural group must disappear, giving place to a 'catholic' conscience which is greater than that conscience, that links us to the whole humanity" (26).

Like it or not, the present system of Orthodox governance is a reality today, and one has to accept this historical evolution. But if Orthodoxy is expected to give a convincing concerted and united Orthodox witness in today's pluralistic world, then the rediscovery of an Orthodox conscience, to which Lossky refers, that goes beyond ethnic and national cleavages is, I believe, an urgent matter. Orthodoxy will be credible only when all local autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox churches are able to speak and act as one single body and not as separate ethnic or national entities.

Before concluding, I wish to remark that in dealing with the issues of ethnicity, nationalism and religion we must not lose sight of the fact that all nations exist under God's sovereignty and that no religion or ideology can replace the God-given unity of humankind, since God himself "from one blood [one ancestor] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live" (Acts 17:26). We must remember that "there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of [us] are one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28). And we should also meditate on what the author of the epistle to Diognetus was saying to his correspondent. Namely that Christians certainly "dwell in their own countries, but only as aliens; as citizens they take part in everything, but endure all hardships as strangers; every foreign land is a fatherland to them, end every fatherland is foreign. They inhabit the earth, but they hold citizenship in heaven" (27).

This fundamental Christian understanding must be the basis of our behaviour towards our neighbours, in times of both peace and of conflict.


NOTES

(1) R eport of section I of the Oxford conference on "Church, Community and State", in M. Kinnamon and B. Cope eds, The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices, Geneva, WCC / Grand Rapids MI, Eerdmans, 1997, p.271.

(2) These definitions are taken from J. Hutchinson and A.D. Smith eds, Ethnicity, Oxford, Oxford UP, 1996, pp.16, 63 and 75.

(3) S. Fenton, Ethnicity, Racism, Class and Culture, London, Macmillan, 1999, p.21.

(4) J. Piano and R. Olton, The International Relations Dictionary, New York, Abe-Clio, 1969, p.119.

(5) Definitions taken from J. Hutchinson and A.D. Smith eds, Nationalism, Oxford, Oxford UP, 1994, pp.16, 18 and 29-30.

(6) See consultation report in T. Tschuy, Ethnic Conflict and Religion: Challenge to the Churches, Geneva, WCC Publications, 1997, p. 156.

(7) Hutchinson and Smith eds, Ethnicity, preface, p.v.

(8) See patriarchal address in Orthodoxia, 131, 1994, pp.335-41.

(9) A. Rattansi, "'Western' Racisms, Ethnicity and Identities in a 'Post-Modern Frame'", in A. Rattansi and S. Westwood eds, Racism, Modernity and Identity on the Western Front, Cambridge, Polity, 1994, p.l.

(10) N. Koshy, Churches in the World of Nations, Geneva, WCC Publications, 1994, p.46.

(11) World Conference on Church and Society, Official Report, Geneva, WCC, 1967, p.106.

(12) The Role of the Church in Conflict Situations, Uppsala, Life and Peace Institute, 1991, p.122.

(13) It was bizarre, to say the least, to speak about a "holy alliance" of European and American Christians against the "Orthodox East" as it was frequently done in the secular and church press of Greece during the Yugoslav crisis. After all, Greece joined NATO not because of any fear of the Roman Catholic or the Protestant West, but of the countries of the North, including Tito's Yugoslavia, namely countries of the traditional Orthodox space, that for centuries now dream to have direct access to the Mediterranean !

(14) See "The Tragedy of Bosnia", in Background Information, CCIA/WCC, 1994, 1, p.117.

(15) See Metropolitan Amfilohije's interview in Service Orthodoxe de Presse, no. 187, April 1994, p.18.

(16) See The Bosphorus Declaration, in H. Bos and J. Forest eds, "For Peace from Above" -An Orthodox Resource Book on War, Peace and Nationalism, Bialystok, Poland, Syndesmos, 1999, p.133.

(17) lbid.p. 135.

(18) See Minutes of the 43rd Central Committee meeting of the World Council of Churches 19 1991, Geneva, WCC Publications, 1991, p.37.

(19) "Message to the Churches in the Countries of Former Yugoslavia", in Minutes of the 45th Central Committee meeting of the World Council of Churches 1994, Geneva, WCC Publications, 1994, p.78.

(20) Report on the 11th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, Graz, Austria, 30 June 4 July 1997, Geneva, Conference of European Churches, p. 165.

(21) Bos and Forest, "For Peace from Above", p.133.

(22) T. Sabev, "Church, Nation and Nationalism ", Etudes Theologiques 12, "Religion et societ é ", Chambesy, Les Editions du Centre Orthodoxe, 1998, p.263.

(23) P. Kitromilidis, "Orthodoxy and Nationalism", in Hutchinson and Smith, Ethnicity, p. 208.

(24) J. Karmiris, "Catholicity of the Church and Nationalism", in S. Agouridis ed., Procès Verbaux du Deuxième Congrès de Théologie Orthodoxe d'Athènes, 19-29 août 1976 Athe n o publ., 1978, p. 470.

(25) See "Patriarchal and Synodical Documents on the Bulgarian Schism", p.429, cited ' Maximos of Sardes, The Oecumenical Patriarchate in the Orthodox Church, Thessaloniki, Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies, 1976, pp.303-309.

(26) V. Lossky, In the Image and Likeness of God (Greek translation), Thessaloniki, no publ. 1974, p.176, cited by Karmiris, op. cit., p.479. No doubt the instrumentalization of Orthodoxy by politicians, and sometimes even by church leaders, in order to foster political and nationalistic aspirations could have detrimental consequences for the Church itself. The Church of Greece still suffers from the consequences of the " Greece for Greek Christians" policy, applied during the dictatorship years. And yet the colonels, some of whom came from the bosom of pietistic movements, claimed to be Orthodox! But what about Gennady Zyuganov, who prior to the 1996 presidential elections, although affirming that he did not believe in God, nevertheless was stating that his communist party of Russia would assist the Orthodox Church of Russia "acknowledging its role in the formation of Russian statehood, Russian national identity, patriotism, and the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Russian people"? See "The Position of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Regarding the Issue of Religion", in V. Fedorov, F. Stolz and H. Weder eds, Religion and Nationalism in Russia, St Petersburg, Apostolic-CityNevskij Prospect Press, 2000, p.251.

(27) Justin the Confessor and Martyr, Letter to Diognetus, V 15, in Bibliothiki Hellinon Pateron, vol. 2, Athens, Apostoliki Diakonia, 1955, p.253.

 

{ technical support      contact