understanding Moscow's fears of "proselytism"
By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 04, 2005
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When the Russian Orthodox hierarchy complains about Catholic "proselytism" in traditionally Orthodox lands-- and the Moscow Patriarchate makes that complaint all too frequently-- most Western observers have trouble understanding. How could the Orthodox be so blatant in their attempts to protect their own turf, to keep out the competition, to suppress religious freedom?
Lawrence Uzzell, a keen observer who has spent years in Moscow, offers an explanation in his International Religious Freedom Watch. Uzzell does not excuse the Orthodox leadership for taking this approach; on the contrary, he says forthrightly that it is repressive. But he does help a Western reader to understand why the Moscow Patriarchate uses that rhetoric, and why many other Russians find it persuasive.
Definitely worth reading.
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