Putin: Christianity and Christmas Celebrations Linked With National Culture

January 7, 2004

Source: Beliefnet.com


On January 7, 2004 Beliefnet.com posted an Associated Press story that reported, "Russians mixed spiritual ceremonies with secular celebrations Wednesday on the day marked as Christmas by the country's dominant church [Russian Orthodox], which President Vladimir Putin said is linked with the nation's culture and the state in the soul of the people...In a Christmas address broadcast on state-run television, [Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II] called Russia's 'rebirth of faith' a 'miracle'...Putin, who has repeatedly praised the Russian Orthodox Church while emphasizing the separation of church and state, said during a visit to a church and monastery outside Moscow that Orthodox Christianity is an integral part of Russian culture. 'One should not completely draw a line between the culture and the church,' Putin said in televised comments. 'Of course, by law in our country the church is separate from the state, but in the soul and the history of our people it's all together. It always has been and always will be.'"