By Gordon L. Heath
Much is made of the demise of Christendom in Europe. Yet the recent construction of the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Russia is a reminder that it is simply incorrect to speak of the decline of Christendom in Europe as if all Europe was the same. Europe is far from monochrome, and patterns and practices of church-state relations vary from nation to nation.
Take Russia for example. The Soviet communist attempt to de-Christianize Russia was a horrific experience, one where countless priests were tortured and executed, and thousands of churches and monasteries desecrated, destroyed, or taken over by the state. It was a bloody attempt to bring about a post-Christendom Russia.
However, the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to a resurgence of Orthodoxy. The repressed faith was once again allowed to blossom and flourish in public, and new buildings such as Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ are a demonstration of that revitalized faith.
[Editor’s note: The above is part of a post originally posted on gordonlheath.com. To view the post in its entirety, visit: Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ & the Renaissance of Russian Christendom.]
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of McMaster Divinity College or the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.*