The Will of the People Leans Toward Secularism as Russian Government Seeks to Finance Renewal of Faith
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - On May 13th protestors, among them MMA fighters from the Russian Copper Company martial arts academy, tore down the fence that had marked off the proposed construction site of the new St. Catherine Cathedral in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Almost 100 protestors, 21 of whom were charged with hooliganism, were detained for stoking “religious conflict,” according to authorities, as the Russian government and Russian Orthodox church seek to repopulate the country with churches in an attempt to hearken back to a pre-Soviet Russia grounded in God and family.
"We have learned a great lesson as a people," Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said recently during the consecration of another new church in Strasbourg.
“The churches are not built because no one knows where to throw their money, but so that the people understand that without God nothing is obtained," a truth he said was obscured by a Soviet-era that sought to scrub the country of everything God-related.
A local poll found that 52 percent of Yekaterinburg residents opposed the Cathedral's construction, while 28 supported it, with the proposed building seen by some as a flashpoint for Russian church excess.
Igor Altushkin, for example, one of the Russian billionaires financing the project, was reported to have paid $25 million for a private jet flight escorting Patriarch Kirill from Moscow to Yekaterinburg in 2018, an expenditure which critics saw as unnecessarily lavish and typical of the Orthodox church.
Altushkin’s Russian Copper Company Charity Foundation lists “strengthening traditional family values and the role of the family in society” as one of its primary objectives.