Open Letter To President Putin

Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of Russia,

You inspired me to visit your great country and its fast-reviving monasteries which were filling up with young people, aided by your generosity. You were baptized as an infant and ever since your visit to the Holy Land, when the cross your mama gave you was blessed at The Lord’s tomb, you have  worn this around your neck.  In your 2007 Person of the Year Time interview you stated ‘It is not possible today to have morality separated from religious values’.

Something in  human beings desires to be immortal. People such as Genghis Khan are remembered with a shudder for their mass slaughter of people who got in the way of their ambitions. Jesus Christ is remembered for his overcoming of evils even through his voluntary death.  I believe you can be remembered for your good works and for reviving timeless spiritual dynamics at the heart of Asia/Europe.

I spoke to the Society of SS Sergius and Alban (as a member) in St. Petersburg.  Students there told me they were enthralled by the affinities between early Irish and British saints such as Saint Patrick and their Russian saints.  Patriarch Kyril sent students to Britain’s Holy Island of Lindisfarne to study these affinities in religion and art.  I have written about ‘Saint Sergius, Builder of Russia’.

This priceless heritage points to a way forward that spreads Russia’s true greatness, not by military means, which fades, but by spiritual means which cannot be destroyed. A movement of new monasticism is spreading in some western lands, but to be lasting it needs roots such as Russia’s Orthodox can help us sustain. I therefore propose that you develop treaties of friendship with many countries, that promote cultural, trade and religious exchanges,  and that will inspire many nations to grasp this vision, including the implications of the Orthodox Forgiveness Sunday. Such treaties and exchanges will serve to build up the respect, dignity and influence that you can have in the shared future of our world.

With the respects of a humble citizen.

Revd. Ray Simpson

Posted at 09:27am on 16th March 2022
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