A report published October 28 by a London-based think tank analyzes efforts by Orthodox Churches to expand their spiritual and temporal influence in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The constitutional separation of church and state has been “watered down” in all four countries, the report contends.
The report – titled Traditional Religion and Political Power: Examining the Role of the Church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova – documents how, in some instances, positions espoused by Orthodox clergy are at odds with basic tenets of Western liberalism, especially tolerance of minority rights. It repeatedly cites the vigorous opposition of most Orthodox Churches in the former Soviet Union to LGBT rights.
“To varying degrees in all four countries, the churches are determined to defend their newly won status in society against cultural challenges, such as potential competition from liberal secularism,” states the report, which was produced by the Foreign Policy Centre.
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The Open Society Institute in New York provided assistance for the production of the Foreign Policy Centre report. EurasiaNet operates under OSI’s auspices.