THE CHRISTIAN RENEWAL OF RUSSIA
WE ARE LIVING AT A PIVOTAL MOMENT of human history in which the backward relationship between the secular and sacred, discussed in a previous article is being slowly reversed. That is, the spirit of nationalism (that reifies secular values, imbues them with a sacred identity, and thereby diminishes the voice of the Spirit) is being corrected by an authentic outpouring of the Spirit. In the process, the temporal public square, rather than being increasingly secularized, is being increasingly sacralized. It is being increasingly sacralized not by a religion that has become secularized, nor by a form of secular humanism that has become sacralized, but by authentic Trinitarian Christian renewal. Although imperceptible in the West, this trend is increasingly evident in the East and is becoming more evident in Europe and throughout the globe.
According to Russian President, Vladimir Putin,
”We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan. The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote pedophilia… I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.”
Therefore, Vladimir Putin has vowed that it will be one of the tasks of Russia’s foreign policy to defend Christianity and Christians persecuted for their faith.
After Metropolitan Hilarion (Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, and Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church) informed Putin about the destruction of churches in Afghanistan, acts of terror committed against Christians in Syria and the bombing of churches in Iraq, he also expressed hope that the Russian government would defend persecuted Christians around the globe to which Putin replied,
“You needn’t have any doubt that that’s the way it will be.”
Likewise, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto believes Russia should join with other nations to defend Christianity. In a meeting with Nikolay Fyodorov, Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council, Szijjarto said
“Christian values should be protected, both in Europe and in the East. And I believe that Russia should play a key role here.”
Subsequently, over 50,000 Syrian Christians petitioned Russia for dual citizenship. In a letter to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the petitioners stated that,
“Russian citizenship would be an honor for any Syrian Christian who wished to acquire it.”
The petitioners also stated that,
“Our appeal does not mean that we have any mistrust in the Syrian army or government. However, we are scared of the conspiracy of the West and hateful fanatics who are waging a brutal war against our country.”
“It is for the first time since the Nativity of Christ that we Christians of Qalamoun living in the villages of Saidnaya, Maara Saidnaya, Maaloula and Maaroun are under threat of banishment from our land.”
“We see the Russian Federation as a powerful factor of global peace and stability. Russia pursues a firm line in the defense of Syria, its people and its territorial integrity.”
Metropolitan Hilarion also believes that Orthodox and Catholic Christians should act together to defend the Christian faith.
“I would like to use this opportunity to call on my brethren from the Catholic Church to create a united front to defend Christian faith in all countries where it is persecuted and oppressed”.
“We see that supporters of militant secularism and atheism in Europe and America are trying to cause Christian faith to leave the life of society, banish Christian symbols, destroy the traditional Christian understanding of family and marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and question the very value of human life, from its birth to its natural end.”
“In Iraq, where up to 1.5 million Christians lived several years ago, only 150,000 Christians are left, and the others have been killed or driven away. There is intensive persecution of Christians going on in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, and other countries, both in the Middle East and in other regions.”
“The Christian communities of Syria and other countries of the Middle East are crying for help, while the Western media are ignoring these cries for help. As for politicians, they are turning a blind eye to this unprecedented persecution.” 
On March 13, 2015, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s top diplomat at the United Nations in Geneva, presented a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council entitled “Supporting the Human Rights of Christians and Other Communities, particularly in the Middle East,” along with a call for an international force to stop the Islamic State from further assaults on Christians in Iraq and Syria. Surprisingly, this is the first time ever that the plight of Christians has been addressed by the Human Rights Council.
Equally surprising, the statement was initiated by Moscow in cooperation with the Vatican and Lebanon. According to Rev. Stefan Igumnov, Secretary of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church,
“We can expect that cooperation in this sphere between Russia and the Holy See will continue developing. Russia and the Vatican are very influential members of the UN and their joint actions aimed at protecting Christians, especially if they are joined by other countries, can be fruitful.” 
Beginning with the collapse of communism in the 20th century as foretold by the Mother of God at Fatima, the modern era is increasingly typified by signs of a Christian renewal in Russia and further dissolution of the West in the ongoing 21st century collapse of liberalism foreshadowing the beginnings of formative change leading to a New Era. Pope Francis voiced this social-cultural verity in Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore during his November 2015 visit to Florence:
“… It is not useful to search (any longer) for solutions in conservatism or fundamentalism,”….We are not living an era of change, but a change of era.”
Thus, if what the pope is saying is true (and we have much reason to believe that it is), religious analysis can no longer be limited to the increasingly antiquated sociological perspective of secular political conserver (conserver of cultural, political, or economic liberalism). At moments such as these, to continue viewing religion through a political or sociological lens inhibits a fuller and more comprehensive understanding of what in fact is really going on.
If the intent of a news and intelligence service is a fuller more objective analysis approximating truth (and not a slip into ideology, rigid nationalism, or a limited sociological understanding of religion and social institutions), religion should no longer be simply explained as a social construct, as a secular or social-cultural phenomenon reduced to the role of political legitimization. Rather, the Church should be increasingly viewed as a free and spontaneous actor and shaper of social policy, cultural identity, and historic destiny.
The world is on the cusp of a change in Era precipitated by divine providence, what the Mother of God identified at Fatima as an “Era of Peace”.
Because of the Message of Fatima, Saint John Paul II consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and then Pope Francis did the same. Without understanding Fatima and the role of Divine Providence in modern affairs, the current changes underway (changes that are making American foreign policy and global politics increasingly difficult to grasp) cannot be properly understood. The modern world is moving away from its 18th-20th century moorings in secular liberalism toward a Christian spiritual renewal spearheaded by the Mother of God, the Queen of Peace.
At Fatima, the world was promised an “Era of Peace” beginning with the “conversion of Russia”. The purveyors of liberalism are working hard to keep us at war and from knowledge of the ongoing Christian evangelization initiated by the Mercy of God beginning in Poland and the return of Russia to its Christian patrimony with all of its ramifications for global politics and spiritual renewal.
 For example, according to Patriarch Kirill Primate of Moscow and All Russia:
“It is very important that all healthy forces of the society today unite for the true revival of Russia. The Church, science, art, culture, education, sport – all these things should work for strengthening spiritual foundations of our person.”
“The things which define the true revival are connected with the person’s spiritual life.”
Likewise, according to the President Putin, “First and foremost we should be governed by common sense. But common sense should be based on moral principles first. And it is not possible today to have morality separated from religious values.” (http://content.time.com/time/specials/2007/personoftheyear/article/0,28804,1690753_1690757_1695787-3,00.html)
“We stand against legalization and legal justification of homosexual ‘marriages’ and other outrages in the sphere of ethics” (Interfax, Dec. 9).
 Whereby authentic, not secular, religion is, in effect, removed from the public square and from political analysis.