The Russian Orthodox Church and the Protection of Christians as a Direction of Russia's Foreign Policy

Abstract

The Russian Orthodox Church has become a significant actor in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. This text is dedicated to its role in Russiaʼs foreign policy, specifically to the topic of the Russian interest in problems and protection of Christians, which is one of the most essential parts of the cooperation between the state and the Church. Analyzing primary sources (state and Church documents), the author shows when and under what circumstances this topic became relevant to both actors, what role the Russian Orthodox Church played in this regard and how the topic of protecting Christians is used by the Russian regime today. The study shows that the interest in protection of Christians did not arise simultaneously on both sides and that it is connected mainly with situations where a threat for Christians is posed by unfriendly actors.

Author Biography

Maria Avanesova, University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic, mariavanesov@gmail.com

Maria Avanesova 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 PhD student at the same department. Her main field of research is Russian foreign policy with special attention to religious and cultural factors.

Section
Research Articles