11 September 2007

A prayer for the nuke

Novaya Gazeta, one of the last truly independent sources in Russia, reports on a curious new habit of mixing the Orthodox Christianity with militancy.

The sixtieth jubilee of the Russian nuclear forces was celebrated in the church of Christ the Saviour. A thanksgiving prayer was followed by a prayer for future success and prosperity. Seraphim of Sarov [a 19th century preacher considered a saint today] was named patron of the nuclear weapons (which development center is still located in the monastery where the Rev. Seraphim lived). This prayer (widely reported via government television and newspapers) caused outrage among non-believers more than among Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ is seen primarily, speaking the language of Orthodox prayers, as "God of peace", who taught to resist evil by good, to carry the cross of responsibility, to leave the sword in its scabbard.
I, personally, do not see any contradiction here. If the weapon development center succeeded under the auspices of a monastery, clearly the saint has something to do with this success...