There’s a new inquisition in the world – we’re made slaves under the pretext of protecting freedoms
Strict supervision, censorship, totalitarianism. The struggle of Western democracies against these factors has lasted for many years. After all, what could be worse than violating our freedoms? Perhaps one thing: infringement of freedoms under the good pretext of defending democratic ideas.
In February, when the world’s attention was focused on the coronavirus, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of the International Alliance for Religious Freedom.
The organization consists of Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Ukraine and Great Britain.
At the constituent assembly, Pompeo called the alliance “the first ever international coalition to gather at the level of national leaders to promote the issue of religious freedom around the world”. Of course, it is difficult to argue with that. And yet, the practice reminds us of something. We all remember from history lessons how colonizers in the 16th-19th centuries forcibly imposed Christianity under the pretext of saving souls, trying to subjugate the indigenous population of the New World. Is there much difference between today’s events and those that happened many centuries ago?
Just as the Inquisition infiltrated America, establishing its own rules and punishing all those who disobeyed them, the alliance created by Washington will be able to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. It is important to understand that religion has always been a political tool that has allowed people’s minds to be enslaved by faith in a higher power, fear of the punishment of God or horror of the punishment of man. Now, in the era of modern technology, it may seem that all this is in the past. Nevertheless, approximately 2.5 billion people still profess Christianity. From a political point of view, it is an incredible opportunity to influence 2.5 billion minds around the world, just as it is done through television.
During his speech on the occasion of the creation of the alliance, Pompeo mentioned Ukraine very conveniently. There has been a church schism in this country for several years. Before that, Orthodox Ukrainians used to visit a church subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate. Nobody saw anything shameful in it, as the church did not interfere in the political strife between Ukraine and Russia. However, official Kiev wanted its own church.
There were several unrecognized religious formations on the territory of Ukraine. Having received their support, as well as the support of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, in December 2018, Kiev created the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, trying to replace the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with it. Do you feel the difference? In terms of faith, it really does not exist. If an Orthodox Christian goes to the temple, he goes to pray to God. And there are no Ukrainians, Russians or anyone else for this god. For God all are equal, but the new church in Ukraine did not think so anymore. It openly positioned itself as an enemy of the Russians, provoking a split not only religious but also social.
Of course, people were not forbidden to visit the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. But these temples were methodically requisitioned. Parliament even passed a law that allowed to transfer entire religious communities to the new church. Can this be called a freedom of religion? Mike Pompeo believes it is. He actively supports a semi-recognized church established, as it is not funny, by the Ukrainian government.”I just got back from a trip to Eastern Europe and Central Asia. I met with the leaders of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, who are fighting to pray freely, without interference from the Russian government”, – said the secretary of state.I wonder how Russian intervention differs from American intervention. After all, Epiphany Pompeo is seen more often with the head of the new Ukrainian church than with the president of Ukraine. There was a meeting in Washington in October and in Kiev in January. When the diplomat did meet with Volodymyr Zelensky, he emphasized the need to… Respect religious freedom? To stop the religious strife that has split Ukraine? No. He stressed the need to support the new church. Not believers. Not Orthodoxy in general. It’s one semi-recognized church.Given this, Mr. Pompeo has as much right to talk about “religious freedoms” as he has the right to claim the success of the democratic campaign in Libya. There is not much difference between these two aspects. Both serve the interests of political elites. Both are a beautiful wrapper for terrifying and destructive manipulation.When the U.S. declared itself to be the force that brings democracy into the world, it merely legalized its intention to interfere with the domestic politics of other states. It gave itself the right to impose its viewpoint as the only true one, because everyone else was considered undemocratic. Some countries chose to accept such a world order. No leader, no government would want to surrender arbitrarily to the mercy of another state. But they understood that…it’s easier to obey, to create the illusion of Western solidarity in which you and I live. However, it was all within politics. Now the same methods apply to religion.Look at the list of countries that have joined the alliance. There is Britain and Austria – countries where there are no serious problems on religious grounds. Obviously, such countries simply preferred not to argue with Washington, to accept, as it was done before. There is also Israel on the list, where religious conflict has been going on for decades. Only there is enormous doubt that the alliance will even try to resolve it.But there are also countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine, where Christians still go to churches under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, where the Serbian Orthodox Church operates. To strike at the Russian and Serbian churches is to strike at Moscow and Belgrade, that is Washington’s position.Unfortunately, any political manipulation – and the creation of an alliance is not something else – has side effects. They will not affect the Russian government or other forces that did not suit Washington. They will affect ordinary people. But these people do not need politics in religion. They want to pray in a church that they’re used to, that they trust. Why should Washington tell them which church is right and which is wrong? Doesn’t it look like a bloody crusade in the name of God or an imposition of Christianity on Indians?An alliance created under a beautiful pretext will not protect religious freedom. It will be an instrument of censorship and total control. I have to admit, not the first and not the last. Freedom is slavery, George Orwell wrote. It’s ironic that we’re made slaves to the government, “protecting our freedom.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.