A review of The Orthodox Church and Russian Politics, by Irina Papkova. Oxford University Press, 2011. By Sean Guillory In late February, four members of the Russian feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, performed a “punk prayer” on the altar of Christ Our Savoir Cathedral, the seat of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Their action, which included singing...
by Irina Papkova there's an eerie similarity between the reaction of some Orthodox believers to Pussy Riot and the worldwide protests against “Innocence of Muslims.”
by Irina Papkova The recent Russian elections have highlighted the complicated relationship between the Orthodox Church with both state and society. In December, prominent clergy expressed their dissatisfaction with the evidently fraudulent nature of the parliamentary election, and even patriarch Kirill made statements that could be interpreted as calling upon Putin to reform the...
by Irina Papkova For two weeks, Lebanon lived on the knife edge of a sectarian civil war. And here the truly interesting part of this story begins to emerge.
From Beirut, Irina Papkova describes in the second of two posts how former political opponents are maintaining Lebanon's fragile peace through a pluralistic, democratic system.
"The relationship between Lebanon and Syria is intricate and complicated, and the chaos in Syria presents serious challenges for its tiny neighbor to the west," writes Irina Papkova in the first of two posts from Beirut in the aftermath of the October 19 bomb blast.
by Irina Papkova Last week marked twenty-two years since the signing of the Taif Accords put an end to the last civil war...but external pressures are at work once more.
Secularism has been a central part of dominant Syrian ideology since at least the 1960s, writes Irina Papkova, but is Assad's Syria truly the last secular state in the region?
In the second of two posts, Irina Papkova, explores Bashar al-Assads assertion that Syria is the "last stronghold of secularism in the Middle East."