“For the Protection of Christianity?”: Stances of the Russian Orthodox Church Toward the West and the Church’s Place in the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation

  • Maria Avanesova
  • Vladimír Naxera
Keywords: Russia, partiarch, Russian Orthodox Church, Russian foreign policy, Russian civilisation


Over the course of Russia’s post-Soviet development, the Russian Orthodox Church has become a significant actor in social and political relations in Russia. This text deals with the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church’s relationship toward the West has developed and how the Church features in the state’s official policy toward the West. This paper, which is based mainly on an analysis of primary sources (state and Church documents, media), is structured chronologically. Important landmarks in it include Vladimir Putin’s entrance into the position of president and Kirill’s entrance into the position of the Moscow patriarch. The study shows that, at present, the state and the Church rhetoric are almost identical and both focus on the defense of Russian foreign policy visions and plans.

Author Biographies

Maria Avanesova

born in 1993, she graduated from the International Relations program of the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Currently she is a Ph.D. student at the same department. Her main field of research is Russian foreign policy with special attention to religious and cultural factors.

Vladimír Naxera

born in 1986, he is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of West Bohemia. His dissertation thesis was focused on corruption and the perception of it in the post-Communist Czech Republic. His current field of interest lies in the instrumental politicization of history, and field research of public political ceremonies and their role in the processes of (re)enactment of specific forms of discourses. He also deals with political populism and some questions of contemporary Russian politics and geopolitics.

Research Articles