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    12 january, 2012

    Do we need an «orthodox» party?

    Author: Vsevolod Chaplin, no comments

    Time of parties active construction seems to have come. Forming parties based on a religious belief is prohibited by the legislation, but no one can prohibit establishment of an «orthodox» or a «Christian» party without mentioning it in the party name. Let’s recall the fact that Christian democrats in the European Parliament call themselves the European People's Party, and moderate muslim politicians in Turkey use the name of the Justice and Development Party.

    The coast is clear for the Church to establish a party as well. The Bases of its social theory say, «Existence of Christian (orthodox) political organizations and also Christian (orthodox) elements of bigger political alliances are considered by the Church a positive event that helps laity to carry out political and governmental activities jointly and on basis of Christian spiritual and ethical principles. Mentioned above organizations are free in their activities and at the same time they are called for consulting the Church Hierarchy and providing coordinated actions to implement the Church decisions on public issues» (V.4). However, the same item of the document quotes the Bishops' council resolution dated 1977. It says that organizations participating in politics, «can not be blessed by the Church Hierarchy and act on behalf of the Church. They can not receive the Church blessing, and in case they have been blessed, ecclesiastical and social organizations, involved in election campaign and political agitation, are deprived of the blessing».

    So, the Church has a positive attitude to establishment of Christian or orthodox parties, or intraparty groups, but will not provide them with any exclusive support or blessing. The Church one is for everyone, not for supporters of any single political force.

    That is the main question the answer for which I do not know yet. Is an «orthodox» or a «Christian» party possible in modern Russia? I saw the experiments of the 1990-s, they were rather unsuccessful, although were initiated by sincere and honest people (except for one group,  which purely commercial interests were at the back of the group name and that did not carry on any political business). Factionalism, petty leaderism and mutual alienation, if not to say hostility, became the main problems.

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