Russia’s Neo-Imperialist Trojan Horse

By: Stanislav Matveev  

The focus of my paper is highlight the topic of the politicization of religion; specifically, to address the growing relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian government, as well as the implications this factor has upon the political and ideological development of the Russian populace. The Russian Orthodox Church, instead of dealing solely with acts of spirituality, has essentially become a public-relations arm of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on legitimizing the Russian government, providing it with a polished international image, normalizing illiberal sentiments, promoting the classic "West vs. East" diatribe, and contributing to the resurgence of a reality akin to the Cold War, where Russia is presented as the "Third Rome" and as a "Savior" figure. It is within this context that I believe it is important to address how all these factors are contributing to growing populism, radicalization, the political hijacking of religion, and potential future problems in regards to relations between Russia, the European Union, and the rest of the Western world. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.

Politics Social Agendas
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Stanislav Matveev

Graduate Student, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy / Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto