Cover Osteuropa 6/2009

In Osteuropa 6/2009

Church and Army
Religion and Politics in Russia

Joachim Willems

Deutsche Fassung


The relationship between religious communities and military exemplifies the relationship between religion and politics. This also applies to Russia. The attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to war and the military is ambivalent. On the one hand, it categorically condemns war. On the other hand, it places itself in the tradition of the church doctrine on just war, according to which war is legitimate and unavoidable under certain conditions. The church has built up a system of spiritual guidance in the Russian military. Some within the church have made the case for a symbiosis of church and army. But they are unrepresentative. Their real influence on politics is extremely slight.

(Osteuropa 6/2009, pp. 235–248)