Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has given theological cover for Vladimir Putin’s murderous assault on Ukraine
In 1934, as Adolf Hitler consolidated his grip on power in Germany, a courageous group of Protestant pastors resisted attempts to create a pro-Nazi unified Reich Church. In what became known as the Barmen Declaration, they asserted the absolute separation of church and state, rejecting the “false doctrine” that “the church in human arrogance could place the Word and work of the Lord in the service of any arbitrarily chosen desires, purposes, and plans”.
It is a measure of these disturbing times that last month hundreds of Orthodox Christian clergy, scholars and lay people felt the need to issue a similar declaration, excoriating the complicity of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Their document, entitled A Declaration on the “Russian World” Teaching, condemns Patriarch Kirill of Moscow for providing theological cover for a barbarous and illegal war.