Babylon and Jerusalem: Russian Orthodox Church Blesses President Putin´s Pro-Israel Course
Russian Church can support Zionism
A book called Babylon and Jerusalem: the Biblical View of the Middle East Conflict was presented on December 19 in Moscow. The sponsors of the event, Michael Cherney Fund to Aid Terror Victims and the Russian Intelligentsia Congress, believe this book will become a landmark in forming the spiritual basis for the world anti-terrorist front, in particular a strategic alliance between Russia and Israel.
"The missions of Israel and Russia," the book's foreword says, "are linked inextricably, and the return of humanity from Babylon to Jerusalem, from belief in profit to belief in goodness, lies through the unity of these two nations."
The book is a collection of articles by Russian Orthodox hierarchs, theologians, and philosophers, who prove that a true Christian cannot be either an anti-Semite or an anti-Zionist. A true Christian cannot support the enemies of the Israeli people who took the brunt of the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism, the new global evil, and stand in this struggle shoulder to shoulder with the people of Russia.
The publication includes a work by Jan Willem van der Hoeven, the founder of International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. It reveals to the Russian Christians that the Soviets' favorite Yassir Arafat is in fact the executioner of many Middle Eastern Christians, i.e. those who share their faith with the Russian people. PLO slaughtered Maronite Christians in Lebanon and continues to discriminate against the Orthodox Christians in Palestine. While the Russians voice their solidarity with the Balkan Christians, solidarity with Middle Eastern Christians has been unknown in Russia.
Since the publishers of the book consider Christian Arabs, who equally suffer from the Islamization of the region, a part of Arab society the closest to Israel, they hope that the book will stimulate Russia to support Christian Arabs in fighting Islamic fundamentalism.
The alliance of Israel and Russia is rooted in common spirituality, the authors say; if we are joining hands only now, when evil cast its shadow over the region, this shows our spiritual stupor: when we refused to follow the path of knowledge, God took us down the path of suffering. The alliance of Russia and Israel against terror is not an end, but a means of joining these two peoples for the most important objective: creative collaboration in spreading the light of the Bible.
The authors prove that the Russian Orthodox Christians' support of Israel is rooted less in Russian political interest than in the biblical prophecies of the Jews' return to the Promised Land, of the rebirth of the State of Israel, and the subsequent Messianic Era, when all the people will gather in Jerusalem near the Holy Mount.
According to the book's editor Dmitry Radyshevsky, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, who made aliya to Israel three years ago and now heads the Michael Cherney Foundation, "One cannot believe in the Bible and its promise of Israel's rebirth as key to the Messianic Era and at the same time support creating a state for Arafat who claims openly that Palestinian sovereignty is a mere springboard for destroying Israel."
The book also raises the issue of return of the Russian Orthodox Church as the key player in the Middle East, as a defender of Christian Arabs suffering from Islamic extremism, in particular Arafat's regime, and as an equal partner of the Western Church in the matter of uniting all Christians in Zion.
The book outlines the steps that can be undertaken by Russia and Russian Orthodox Church to help Israel and the Christian Arabs suffering under the Palestinian Authority's dictatorship. The key article is an Open Letter by Avigdor Liberman, the leader of Our Home Israel party, addressed to Patriarch Alexi the Second, which outlines the plan of creating a Christian enclave in Bethlehem with active support from Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church.
In order to save Christian holy places, along with the diminishing Christian population, Bethlehem must be torn out of Arafat's claws - this comes from a Greek Orthodox priest, who has served for the last few years in a church under Palestinian Authority and currently resides in Europe. Finally feeling safe, he will attend the presentation and tell the audience how Christian Arabs of Bethlehem are Arafat's main victims: they are being robbed and humiliated, they are forced to convert to Islam or flee the region, and many of them privately acknowledge that Oslo Agreements were a catastrophe for them.
Says Mr. Cherney: "In order not to have to build Dolphinarium and Nord-Ost memorials every month, all the people who share common moral values should join efforts as soon as possible. As for Russia and Israel, God Himself - literally - wished to see them side by side. That's what Babylon and Jerusalem is all about."
According to the authors of the book, Babylon represents totalitarian ideology. For the third time in the last hundred years, following Fascism and Communism, a totalitarian ideology - Islamic Fundamentalism - attempts to conquer the world. Jerusalem, the center and the symbol of the Bible-based civilization, has also become the center of this conflict between this new evil and the Free World. This is why, they say, it is so important that Russia make a choice between Jerusalem and Babylon. The latter is being backed by the petrodollars of the dictatorships like Iraq, which owes Russia $8 billion dollars for arms contracts. Many in Russia see siding with these regimes as more profitable, but this is the course to death and destruction. The alliance with Jerusalem promises little short-term gain, yet it leads to the realization of Biblical prophecies of true peace, prosperity, and love.