Here’s why the Russian Orthodox Church is deeply connected to the Syrian War

Posted By on August 25, 2019


-In this video
from November 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin
is visiting Syria to inspect Russian troops
on the ground. As Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad rushes to catch up with him, Assad is held back so that
Putin can walk on alone. To many, this moment sent
a clear message that Russia was in charge
in Syria’s civil war. In 2015, Russia waded into
Syria’s brutal conflict, and single handedly turned
the tide in Assad’s favor. Since then, Russia has been
present at almost every important
juncture in the war, from distributing aid
to residents to bombing areas held by militants. But Russia’s interest in Syria extends beyond
its backing of Assad. Its interest is also deeply
rooted in Russia’s efforts to redevelop the Orthodox
church, a key unifier at home, and central to Putin’s grip
on power. In essence, Russia has
a religious interest in Syria. To understand, we have
to go back when Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, was president. In 1957, the elder Assad trained
in the Soviet Union, where he learned Russian
and how to fly fighter jets. Until his death in 2000, he met with leaders
in the Soviet Union, and later in Russia. Russia didn’t lose
the Soviet-era ties after the collapse
of the Soviet Union in 1991, but it certainly lost its clout. What we see now under Bashar
al-Assad and Putin is a re-invention
of that close relationship between the Syrians
and the Soviets. On the global stage, Russia is aggressively pursuing
its message that it is the savior
of the Christian world. Assad, who belongs to a minority
Muslim sect, seems to agree. Shortly after Russia
entered the Syrian war, Assad said Putin was
the only defender of Christian civilization
one could rely on. The Christian holy lands,
of course, include Syria. There are two cities in Syria significant to Russia’s
Christian history. First, Palmyra, a prominent city
during the Roman Empire, and home to some of
Christianity’s oldest churches. Catherine the Great, the influential
18th-century Russian leader, often compared herself
to Zenobia, the legendary
3rd-century queen of Palmyra. She also compared her
court in St. Petersburg,
then the capital of Russia, to the court of Palmyra. Today, St.
Petersburg is still widely known as the Palmyra of the north. A Russian orchestra performed
in Palmyra in May 2016. Many saw it as effective
propaganda, portraying Russia as
a global arbiter of culture. Second, the city of Maaloula, one of the only places
in the world that speaks Aramaic,
the language of Jesus. St.
Thecla’s monastery, an ancient church in Maaloula, destroyed by the Islamic State,
has been recently rebuilt by a Russian-government-linked
veterans charity. Members of the charity
have visited Maaloula regularly. Victory in Syria is part
of Russia’s plan to be seen as a serious power broker
all over the world. Syria is its entrance
into the Middle East, but it’s also a key part
of Russia’s rise and prominence. When Russia first
got involved in the war, there was little support
among Russians for what looked like a costly
and messy conflict. It was all too reminiscent
of the Soviet Union’s disastrous war in Afghanistan
in the 1980s. But today, the Syrian war
has arguably become part of the cultural
makeup of Russia. It has been, without question,
already a Russian victory.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 100 comments

  1. Moscow will be Crowned with the Third Rome glory . The event to watch
    for , the invitation of Putin and Moscow Patriarch to Pope Francis and
    the 10 major denominations of OIKOU- MENE , Come to the " Troubled
    Waters " ( the city is named after the river ) for the " Last Supper "
    Celebration of Oikou- MENE unity , is the Pope as " Bishop of Rome "
    An equal among equals with the other Christian Churches , aka the
    10 horns now " crowned " . The 7th trumpet sounds Rev 11 : 15 – 19
    The " Bishop of Rome stands " in the holy place " to lift the cup and
    the host , this is the 3rd WOE , …. Jesus sits on the Throne , Judgement
    begins….. soon and very soon…..

    Reply
  2. coz of their(Russia) religious interests they killed thousands and thousands innocent people including children, men, women ,old ,young…this wasn't definitely the teaching of Jesus,,today's so-called Christians r more and more following devil than Jesus

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  3. Russia is good for the oriental (and whole) christianity revival from the extreme south in far Ethiopia to the the far North in Karelia.
    Poor Roman Christian Church with Pope Francis, what a pity!

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  4. Russians are stupid, communist Stalin murdered millions of Russians, but you still allow an ex KGB communist agent Putin to rule Russia as a dictator. Stalin and the communists murdered millions of your own people, you stupid drongoes! Don't think that a leopard can change its spots, and if it does or could it would have no morals, loyalty or respectability, just like Putin, communist one day something else another day, but such is the life of a trained double agent who has no loyalty to anything except for himself, and maybe not even for himself, Thoroughly untrustworthy, but you poor Ruskies have all been brainwashed by his KGB tactics.

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  5. Didn't like the treatment of Assad at the airport. Putin saved so much extracting the decrepit tooth of CIAQUAEDA. I don't wish Putin to mistake his aid for free undue reign over Syria.

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  6. Russia has not only preserved orthodox christian in Syria but also proteted all types of Muslim of different brotherhood. God bless such leaders, U.S and Europe should follow.

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  7. Wow,Whashington Post did a great job avoiding the word "daesh",it can't be
    heard a single time during the whole video."The war turned in Bachar's favor" lol.Against who?aliens?trolls? aah,you can't say it,do ya?!Yes Bachar and Vladimir teamed to bury daesh under tons of steal and concrete.Thanks to THEM.If we have to be orthodox to have sympathy towards Syrian people threatened by barbaric gangs with a black flag,so be it.I will gladly be orthodox then.

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  8. Ezeikel 48 – 1500 square miles

    Do you not understand how big of a space that is?

    You can fit the entire univers in only 10 acres. So lets try to fill it.

    Ehesians 4:10
    He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

    Se how miniscule human minds are think they need to jump from galaxy to galaxy.

    Reply
  9. While in Europe we have a SATANIC Dictator MERKEL that is importing pedofile terrorists and have burned 800 churches in France like Notre Dame!!

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  10. Long live Russia. Thank you for your service, not to your countrymm but for your world. While the weak democracies can't be as honorable as you, Mr Putin, you help these poor people, even thought they have nothing in common, but their vision towards peace and prosperity.

    Reply
  11. I thought Communism increases Atheism but after seeing this video my respect level to Russia increased even more

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  12. I 🤚🤚salute Russia president Vladimir Putin love from Pakistan 🇵🇰🇵🇰🇷🇺🇷🇺🤝🤝

    Reply
  13. USA starts unneeded wars-on falsified data- see Iraq which gives Isis army+weapons, later on Lybia, which was the (closed) door to Europe.
    Usa did nothing to fight isis; those few bombs: nothing.

    Russia gave Isis what they deserved: hell.

    The result of USA actions: millions of refugees; hunderds of thousands in Europe; each one costs europe 1 million dollars.

    Thank you USA for destroying Europe; economicaly and socially

    Russia rebuilds church; is good. Church: stands also for civilization; as contrast of the diabolic islam, which is the destruction of civilization.

    Even the pope did not do anything against the mass killing of christians.

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  14. OR MAYBE ITS A SECURITY ISSUE TO HAVE 2 WORLD LEADERS WALK NEXT TO EACH OTHER IN THE OPEN IN AN ACTIVE WAR ZONE, LOVE THE PROPAGANDA

    Reply
  15. 請不要戰爭我不要打仗了 死了三十幾萬了不要再殺了都是人為什麼要這樣子好可憐喔 世界超級強國普丁 要哪些 互相打仗的都離開吧 不然你的火力太強了他們每一個人都不能活 白石吳宇超級強國美國也回家了搬回美國了世界和平死了那麼多以東人 非常可憐 可怕家家都變小蜜蜂的家 火力攻擊看影片 ooooooooo 房子都亂 全是麵包坑洞 😎😇 無話可說 銀魂在陰間 男女慘叫 俄羅斯地獄 影片看看吧去了就不能出來了 打什麼帳號不要戰爭了。大像打螞蟻火力 重行 武器 威力 差很大AcPH

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  16. Пожалуйста, помогите русским и простите меня и мою семью … Я люблю Россию и всех русских людей … У нас есть урок прошлого, давайте строить будущее, пожалуйста ….

    Reply
  17. Orthodox Bulgaria exists on the map of the Balkans solely because of Russia destroying the Ottomans in 1878. If the Muslims had prevailed then, there would be a Bulgarian genocide before the Armenian genocide. Please tell me now, is it any wonder that 79 percent of the orthodox Bulgarians today still love Russia, in spite of their NATO and EU membership?

    Reply
  18. America is supporting the people that are killing the Christians.
    Shame on the US government.
    Calls itself a "christian country".

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  19. Only Vlamir Puttin has done the great jobs against the Syrian civil uprising. US government under Obama could have been done and co-operated with the Russian president Vlamir Puttin the situation could have been control and never mushroom an ISIS and the Barrack Obama administration is direct responsibility of the formation and spread out the ISIS all over the world.
    Thanks to the Russian president Vlamir Puttin for effort to smash civil uprising.

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  20. Putin is doing the right thing, without Christianity Theres no morality, the backbone of western civilization

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  21. I'm a Muslim Syrian and I will never stand with the destruction of churches in my country. Christians from all sects have always been part of our culture. they are our family. millions like me living in Syria believe this too. religion never segregated us… until the west put their hands in the mix. but i assure you, Syria will forever be a country free for any human from any religion.

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  22. We Indians always trusted Russia. Russians are the only true Christians in the world. Others are fake. Russian always defended, helped and developed weak nations. By rebuilding churches in Syria the Russians have earned goodwill of all Christians.

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  23. All you poor Russian slaves and trolls sitting next to each other saying the same comment LOL. How pathetic. Russians will ever forever be slaves because they're all cowards and don't have the courage to overthrow their dictator. All they can do is make fun of great countries like America that have freedom LOL. Oh well Russians… Maybe one day you'll have a taste of freedom LOL

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  24. War would be long over if neither Americans nor Russians would have intervened in Syria. Assad would long be gone and people would be free. Look at Egypt, look at Algeria, whereever free election was there was a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood. But unfortunately dictatorship prevailed – with the help of foreign countries. Christian countries.

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  25. c'est curieux comme les instruits et les experts de nos ''médias français'' ceux qui savent tout sur tout maintenant que les Russes et Bachar ont vaincu ''Daesh, ne nous parlent plus des ''centaines de milliers de morts faits soit disant par le régime, de ses armes ''chimiques'' de ses barils explosifs etc etc.Bon d'accord, il y a eu le match de foot algérie sénegal!!!

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  26. rusia ar trebui sa domine lumea din punct de vedere militar politic si religios?😀😷👱👍✌🎓🔔🐶🐦🐐🌲

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  27. Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the death of 700 000 people. Russia should not support such cruelty for its own interests.

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  28. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow gets a hard-on when he sees the suffering of innocent children in this "Holy War" he has promoted, blessed, and glorified. All to serve his own depraved lusts.

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  29. Syriac orthodox church is amazing.they dont deny christ even if there life is on trouble.God almighty raised putin and donald trump to protect churches.I belongs to orthodox syrian church of India.May lord restore the peace of syria

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  30. Religious interests? Are you f–ing out of your mind ???? Russia doesn't want Syria to turn into Libiya, because it is not far from our land, because there are 5000 Russians fighting in ISIS and they will return back home. May be it is O.K. in England to welcome those terrorists, but here in Russia we don't want them back…. Besides of helping ally Assad, Putin is alson destroying those, who can come back to Russia and carry out terrorist attacks here in Russia. It is you – THE WEST, who started all this mess and Russia is only cleaning up after you. You should thank Bush, Obama, Blair… for all the rapes and murders in your countries. Russia is trying to avoid all the mess you have in your countries…….

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  31. Both Putin and Assad have no much in leadership worldwide…
    True leaders with heart faith in God and balls of steel!!!
    Much respect and love to both and their countries from a Greek Orthodox brother!!!

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  32. Meanwhile , Trump is selling weapons to Saudi Arabia for 8 more billion dollars . Yes , the same Saudi Arabia that is building mosques around Europe and preaches Radical Islam / Wahhabism . Wake up people 🙁

    Reply
  33. I am filled with gratitude.. Thank you Russia.. All I was seeing is Christians being killed and persecuted all around globe and no one have their backs. Now I know.. There is one. Love from India!

    Reply

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