By SHARON K. GILBERT
April 13, 2008
IN PART I of this article, we followed Russia’s religious history, pointing out the incestuous relationship between government and church. We saw how tsarist ‘king-maker’ Patriarchs ruled an uneducated peasantry through secular proxies only to be devoured by the very government they engendered.
As illustrated by Christ’s parable of the demons in Matthew, no house remains spiritually empty for long, and this is also true of Russia. In the vacuum created by the Communist rise and eventual fall, a new spirituality arose, most of it based on spirits who bear no love for Christ.
One such cult mentioned is the Rus’ Resurrecting cult, centering on Vladimir Putin as the reincarnation of both King Solomon and St. Paul. While this sect may be small in number, the core belief runs throughout Russia’s youth in a different, yet far more sinister form of worship: Nashi.
The Russian term Nashi is translated as ‘ours’. Nashi has its roots in Vasily Yakemenko’s ‘Walking Together’ movement of 2000. By 2002, membership swelled to 50,000, organized into small cells of five each (called ‘stars’). Members visited battlefields for inspiration and spent free time reading Russian classics (while condemning modern writing to the point of destroying works such as Vladimir Sorokin’s Blue Salo, which portrayed Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev as gay lovers).