Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Land of the Free & Tolerant

Well, I am talking about my beloved Mother Russia now.

She is a great country where within one and the same day there happen:

1. Our Russian Minictry of the Interior informed yesteday, about 800,000 people gathered in the city of Grozny for a rally to say "No to Prophet Mohammad caricatures" and declare that Islam is a peaceful and creative religion.

Thousands of faithful from the North Caucasus gathered in Chechnya’s capital Grozny early Monday for a rally in defense of Islamic values.
© TASS/Valeriy Matytsin. Source
The local Caucasian hierarchs of the Orthodox church, including Varlaam, bishop of Makhachkala and Grozny, also took part in the rally. Varlaam said: "Today we stand together with you to say 'No' to the evil West is trying to spread in attempts to sow dissent between our religions."

2. On the very same day millions of Orthodox people still using the Julian calendar celebrated Epiphany. There is a tradition of bathing on this day, as all water in all rivers and lakes considered to be holy. This day, as our Ministry of Emergency Situations informed, about 1.5 million enjoyed the Epiphany bathings across Russia.

Russian Orthodox believers take a dip in the icy waters of Amur Bay, Vladivostok.
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS. Source
By the way, the holes cut for those bathings in the ice covering water reservoirs are usually made in the form of the holy cross.

The both events were widely (and positively) covered by virtually all Russian media, including TV channels.

Whatever is your attitude to both these religions and to any in general, isn't it what tolerance is supposed to be?

Russia has centuries of experience in building up a really multi-confessional society. Islam is the second popular religion of Russia with by estimations about 10 to 15 million believers. Besides the Russian Orthodox church and a considerable quantity of atheists and non-religious people, there are also in Russia:

  • believers of other Orthodox Churches 
  • and Old Belief Orthodox Church,
  • some Protestants and Catholics,
  • pagans, neo-pagans and tengrists,
  • Buddists,
  • Jews,
  • Hindu's
  • and more, including scientologists and other stuff that came from West and East.

So when it comes to tolerance, this is not Russia who is to be taught and lectured.

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