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State and religious schools in search for idyll

They are factually leading our society to a time when a certain self-appointed false Christ Vissarion (i.e. Sergey Torop) or Maria Davi Christos (i.e. Maria Tsvigun) will have equal rights for state accreditation of their ‘religious education’ with Christians, Muslims, Jews etc.

INFORMATION of the site antitotal.org.ua. “In 2001, there was founded the Ukrainian Religious Freedom Association (abridged URFA, president V. Yelensky), associate part of American International Religious Freedom Association (IRFA), known in the world that, under the cover of the slogans defending the right and ‘spreading religious freedom principles’ in the world, along with the ‘equality of all religions,’ in reality over 100 years cares for the image of non-traditional religions overall and new religions in particular in many countries of the world.

In the works of contemporary leaders of secular academic religious studies of Ukraine it is openly said about the necessity of unification and globalization of religions. With this aim, they recommend to work out ways of influence the formation of theologians and сlergy (ministers) of contemporary religions. The difference is that, in the works of L. Filipovitch it is mentioned as inevitability, while as V. Yelensky speaks of the preference of this way.

We are including several citations of the works by L. Filipovitch, illustrating the pointed tendencies (from: Academic Religious Studies/ Edited by А.М. Коlоdny К., 2000.  p. 788) :

‘The world is gradually losing monopoly, in particular the monopoly of certain civilizations and cultures. Living in an environment of mutual influence of different cultural worlds, states, nations, their traditions, it is getting more and more pluralistic. This is also characteristic of religious sphere. Humanity began realizing its unity and separation for different reasons, аespecially for a religious one. It has had more desire to overcome the latter.

The new idea of unity of all humanity, universalism and syncretism of life, culture found its theoretical and practical application in the idea of unified religion (especially through the synthesis of Western and Eastern religious traditions), nondenominational and nonreligious societies. All this is realized in new religious movements that manifest integration and wholeness of humanity.

‘Upon gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine is gradually entering the world commonwealth of nations and consequently the world religious sphere. Thus it cannot stand aside these global changes in social life that have taken the whole world, and not to get acquainted with new religious phenomena that appeared outside its scope.’

 р. 795  :

It goes without saying that in the future the attitude of traditional churches to new religions will be polarized. Orthodoxy adherers – traditionalists – will further on consider everything new in religious sphere to be devilish acts, barbarianism. Liberal modernists, under the unequivocal recognition of the truthfulness of its teaching, can agree to the right of new religions to exist as one of the directions of a person’s spiritual search.’

  http://www.dt.ua/3000/3690/59906/ fragment of the interview with Filipovitch:

 In general, in my opinion, religions and churches of Ukraine are in the state of expectation of great changes. And this will be related to age qualification of the priests. In time, people brought up by the Soviet system will be replaced by the youth who know the basics of economics and work not by inspiration but by science.

Overall, the future of traditional religions is seen very clearly in works of Ukrainian religious philosophers. That is to say: state accreditation will gradually deprive churches of real influence on study process and their ministers’ preparation, handing these powers to specialists of a liberal state on behalf of far from Christian religious experts, to the Ministry of Education, religious committees and other state establishments.

Unfortunately, far from all religious leaders realize that, as soon as they approve of state accreditation of their religious education, they will have to hold responsibility for formation of training programs, the list of disciplines and the academic structure, hence future priests and theologians with godless world. Certainly, the staff of the former Department of Scientific Atheism, which is now titled Scientific Religious Studies, reforged from the first days of Ukraine’s independence on Department of Religious Studies of Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (UNАS)’s Institute of G. Skovoroda Philosophy – will readily promote church education, since this will considerably widen the scope of their activity, allowing them to carry their theology to Churches, prepare and approve textbooks, study manuals, literature, teach, conduct seminars and lectures in churches, seminaries etc.

Possible consequences of state accreditation of religious programs

Let us now take a closer look at the goals of the state accreditation of religious schools of both participating sides, i.е. the goals of the schools themselves and the goals of the state. The below stated goals are very obvious. This is why it is noteworthy that, before making any decision, heads of religious schools should ponder over all possible consequences.

Goals of religious organizations

To attract a bigger number of students with the privileges of the state accredited theologian education.

·                     To use all privileges introduced by the state for theology schools accredited by it.

·                     Recognition of its graduates by the state and the possibility for them to teach religious disciplines at secular schools and thus influence the secular school.

Means

It is necessary to say at once that, in this process, means of influence of religious organizations, speaking mathematical language, come to zero. An example to that can be the introduction in its time of the program of valueology in the general educational school – the course of practical paganism. The state reacted to Christians’ and other traditional religions’ protests quite calmly, displaying calmness and willpower. The calculation was simple: they will make noise and then calm down. And so it happened. For the sake of justice, it is noteworthy that, thanks to competent struggle, Orthodox and Protestant believers living in the capital, together with religious associations, were able to achieve cancelling of the status obligatory for valueology, but only in Kiev.

Overall, most religious organizations didn’t learn a lesson out of these events. Next time, on occasion of introduction of non-Christian ‘Christian ethics’ in the school program factually devoid of Christian core, teaching, voice of churches’ indignation was heard quite clearly. But the state didn’t pay essential attention to this representative opinion of churches. The case was limited to ‘round table talks’ of department of Religious Studies of Philosophy Institute at UNAS, which, in essence, were but a pleasant formality on which religious leaders gave in, possibly being aware of their ‘allies’ goals as the opposite and that in reality they have no means of influencing the power of this world, bringing a result which would please authorities and not religions.

It was stated above that with religions, those who are regarded ‘scientific professionals,’ and these are ‘scholars’ from the same Department of Scientific Atheism, or so called ‘Religious Studies,’ Institute of Philosophy of Ukrainian Science Academy will be presenting the state in the process of religious talks, together with the introduction of accredited study programs in theological institutions. The latter, as stated above, only make advances before religions, to attain their goals. As soon as they reach them, they will be little interested in matters of Church and other traditional religions of Ukraine.

Apart from that, many religious unions and seminaries are involved in liberal democratic   politics by means of their interests. Ukrainian leaders of religious movements and unions, seminaries, by putting themselves into dependence from foreign investors, don’t seem to realize that foreign missionaries with generously filled purses are creating world-wide financially, and consequently ideologically dependent on foreign investor churches. Knowing that one cannot look a gift horse into the mouth, they shower the ‘church democrats’ with presents, which allows them to do their jobs without big problems for some time.

Democracy of liberal educational establishments is manifested not in passing the teaching of the whole religious union, but all existing in the world interpretations (including godless) of a certain Bible passage, all kinds of dogmatic and teachings, for students to make their choice for themselves. If, in secular schools, the professor, having stated some physical or mathematical concept to the students, would add: ‘And now, dear students, it’s up to you to decide whether you should believe this concept or not!’ – this would be regarded as absurd, for science needs reliance. But in liberal democratic seminaries it happens and this study method is for some reason called classical theologian approach.

In the final run, those who have more resources will reach their goals in the world, leaving the rest at a loss. Does, for example, the Church have many material resources? Does it and other religious institutions have legislative power – no and can’t be so, along with the absence of influence the public opinion or society in general.

Goals of ‘religious academicians’ of this world and state –

To gain full control over the Church which is constantly disobeying the laws of this world, its pastors, apologetic teachers and theologians, theological educational establishments and training programs which form the worldview of future ministers. It pays to remember that the work on preparation and conducting of such accreditation of religious education is done by ideologists of globalization and unification of religions of all countries of the world. And this is spoken of quite definitely: ‘to deprive traditional faiths of their traditional character and traditional religions of their conservative character,’ ‘to liberalize their outlook and an assessment of the future events,’ ‘to prepare for clergy of clerics conceiving modern global categories,’ ‘to prepare confessors ready to new realities of a life, spiritual dialogue and spiritual unification.’

                                Means

1.   To achieve trust from religions on the ‘round tables,’ for them to ‘rely’ on religious academicians in development and preparation of accreditation of curriculums and teaching materials. (Those who give in on such provocation, forget about the words in the Bible regarding a man who trusts another man and аlso yokes together with unbelievers (Jer. 17:5; 2 Cоr. 6:14)).

2.  To achieve the exclusive right for development and introduction in curriculums the materials and manuals developed liberal religious academicians, in relation to secular religions.

3.  To achieve, on obligatory conditions, the introduction of religious academicians into the academic structure of theological educational institutions.                     

Religious academicians possess huge means of influence on occurring events in the world that religiously believes in ‘science.’

Prognoses

Since far from all graduates of the secular religious organizations get access to the pulpit, the more so there is little hope that Christian religious experts, competing with the secular ones, will become teachers at secular schools. The competition on the ‘religious market’ is very tense. This means that at denominational seminaries they will just as before continue preparing specialists exclusively ‘for themselves’. Thus, state accreditation can affect the quantity of the students only temporarily while students do not understand that their half-theological, half-special education is not enough for finding a secular job.

On the other hand, secular religious experts and graduates of secular establishments gain access to theological faculty, bringing their destructive ideology into the life of religions.

What can be done?

It is possible and necessary to influence the situation. Being an apologetic and an evangelist of true belief, the Church can and is obliged to expose godlessness and lie, to declare the society about public, civic stand of the Church concerning degradation of morals, godlessness as a whole, declaring the world a sin on real examples of modern TV and radio broadcasts, cinema, animations, radio, etc., antichristian programs and movies by modern gnosticists (Da Vinci Code, The Gospel of Judas, etc.). And to do it, it is necessary not only in the internal literature or telling only about events of Christmas of 2000 ago, but also speaking about a concrete present situation.

In a reality, one sees not the penetration of Christian values into the world, but the opposite. And striving for the state accreditation of religious education is one of evident examples. Already in itself, such fact puts worldly standards above Christian ones because not the world but the church should give spiritual and moral accreditation to what happens in our society and this world.

Thus, the religious organizations thirsting accreditations of their education by the godless world, make a covenant with the world, exchange their independence for promises of this world which, by the way, are guaranteed by nothing. Such actions automatically result in the loss of faith, degradation of morals, democratization of religious life of the country and Church, with all immoral consequences.

Back in 1963, on occasion of similar events occurring in Great Britain and Western world, C.S Lewis, in interview to the Billy Graham’s Evangelical association, to a question: “Apparently, you feel that the modern culture becomes non-Christian?” replied: “ … I see that it is the church that is becoming non-Christian. It seems to me that pastors adapt to the world too excessively and there are a lot of faithless in the flock. Christ did not speak to us: ‘Go to the world and tell it that it is right.’ The whole spirit of the Gospel is different, it resists the world.”

The enlightenment of the religious organizations can cost it them too much, as the graduates of such liberal seminaries cannot any longer think in terms of conservative, traditional Christianity which opposes globalization of religions, debauch of liberalization. This alone puts ‘a slow mine’ into Church: liberals will not want to live and think conservatively, conservatives will not want to live and think liberally. Obvious result of such church policy can be only the split of strong religious associations to many weak ones, to which supporters of religious unification actually aspire.

Experience of state accreditation of religious education in Pakistan

Today such accreditation is already carried out in Islamic Pakistan. It is described I.N.Serenko's work ‘An imperative of acceleration of reform of religious formation in Pakistan’ prepared and published on the site of Institute of the Middle East (I.N.Srenko. Imperative of acceleration of reform of religious formation in Pakistan.-  http://www.iimes.ru/rus/frame_stat.html). The purpose of the action is defined precisely enough: ‘to deprive the Pakistani Islam of its fundamentalism and conservatism.’ This reform is  part of the international antiterrorist measures undertaken according to the 1373 resolution of Security Council of the United Nations of September, 28th, 2001.

It is significant that, as the author of the article says, after involving Pakistan in the Afghani conflict of 1977 – 1988 for preparation of necessary insurgents, there took place severe ‘extremist Islamization’ of the Pakistani religious educational institutions. Thus, it is obvious that ‘extremist Islamization,’ just as the present liberalization of the Pakistani Islam, are the processes that can be easily controlled and manipulation from the outside.

For the realization of ‘the proclaimed program of reforming of religious education providing the state control over study and financial activity of theological educational institutions, their gradual integration into the general stream of schools’ in democratic Pakistan, the following bills were issued: ‘Decree on Federal Department of Religious Formation from 18.08.2001; Law on Voluntary Registration and Regulation of Activity of Religious Educational Institutions (2002); The Amendment on Obligatory State Audit and Registration Medres (# 22 from 21.08.05) in the Law on Registration of Public Organizations (1860).’ The slipping which nevertheless occurred in the program, in the author’s opinion, ‘was caused not so much by its insufficient financing, as by the absence of the rigid and a consistent policy of ruling circles in its realization, and also persistent resistance to educational innovations of the state on the side of religious conservatives.’ Nevertheless, part of Islamic religious educational institutions did not resist the temptation of entering the close union with the democratic state.

Graduates from accredited liberal Muslim religious schools, institutes, academies and other religious educational establishments can now apply for work at secular schools, their students being released at session from work etc. Material benefits are obvious, but the price of such change is the change of nature and appearance of Pakistani Islam.

Ukrainian secular philosophical religious experts, preparing similar ‘accreditation’ of Christian educational process in Ukraine, welcome the Pakistani experience with triumph. And what can be expected from the new union of religions with the liberal state, if not liberal views and liberalization, unification of all religions with cults, new religions and pseudo-religions, occult and pseudoscientific associations?

Conclusion

Thus, state accreditation of religious education is a dangerous innovation in attempt to the Church’s democratization. Planting of ‘people’s power’ leads to the loss of precise own doctrine, because having and defending one’s own symbol of faith, teaching incorrect by mere definition in regards to democracy and tolerance, for the opponents are also people’s representatives, giving way to the infringement of their rights to own opinion.

Modern tendency, when heads of liberal Christian church seminaries, to please ‘the strong of this world,’ let non-believing teachers – religious scholars or liberal theologians - to teach certain subjects, closing eyes to the fact that their teachers often proclaim antichristian slogans, caring only that their high ‘scholarly’ guests help them in state accreditation – a typical tendency of liberal secular concepts of philosophical religious study getting into church life.

The Church is called to keep and bring into the world traditional Christian values. And the attempts to unite Church and state are not new, the Scripture warns: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you” (2 Cоr. 6:14-17).  

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(1) Lewis, С. S. Mere Christianity; God in the Dock. – М.: Gendalf, 1994, p.265.

 

Translated by Anna Sedova

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