I was born on December 31, 1962. America would soon have a President assassinated less than a year later. We were in the middle of the Vietnam war that would last 13 more years. I was taught that the only good Communist was a dead Communist.
I am a product of the Cold War.
So you can imagine my surprise when I read that the leader of the former Communist country Russia was doing something that I could only wish our leaders in the western world would do.
The representative of the Russian Orthodox Church has told Russian President Vladimir Putin this week of the urgent situation Christians are facing around the world in persecution hot spots, and has asked him to use his power to aid their situations.
RT online reported that Metropolitan Hilarion, foreign relation chief of the Russian Orthodox Church presented evidence and statistics that stated, “Every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the word.”
Christians face persecution in many nations; from church demolition in Afghanistan and bombings of churches in Iraq, to the violence against Christians taking place in rebellious towns in Syria.
After delivering the facts, Metropolitan Hilarion asked Putin to make protection and defense of Christianity around the globe a major part of his foreign policy.
And, as reported by Interfax, Putin replied, “You needn’t have any doubt that that’s the way it will be,” assuring Hilarion that Russian foreign policy would defend Christians from persecution abroad.
Putin has spoken openly of his faith, noting that most of Europe is rooted in Christianity, and that a denial of this is embarking on a path of “renouncing” their roots. Putin believes that Russia is the new leader in supporting Christian values and morals.
Now my cold war upbringing makes me cynical and even today our media paints this man as a thug, however I must confess. Even if it is propaganda, I wish I would see this type of propaganda coming out of our own American leaders.
What do you think? Is Russia and Vladimir Putin taking the lead in defending Christianity worldwide?
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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