“Where are we going to?” I asked my brother this morning, as he was driving in an unknown direction with a cheeky grin on his face. When no reply seemed imminent I asked; “Are you going to tell me?” Finally, his response was; “To wash off our sins in the Volga”. Ten minutes later we were standing on the icy platform of the mother of all Russian rivers, and there before us were the neatly cut water-hole with dozens of red-faced enthusiasts, lined up, changing into their swimming suits.
As my brother’s turn arrived to dive into the pins and needles chill to purify himself through the divine energy of the blessed water, I discovered something happening to me. And though the north wind paralyzed my fingers, I wouldn’t stop filming him, just to have a proof that what I saw was real. “It’s 100 years now”, I thought. Exactly 100 years since my grandmother was born and exactly 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took away the lives of each and every one of her loved ones. The epiphany gave me pause, standing there in the bitter freezing wind…
Today, as my brother plunged into the blessed waters of river Volga, I thought of the times when same waters accepted the blood of those executed for defending their faith, and for defending their country from anarchy. What was the price that they paid for being true patriots of their country? And what are we doing today to honour them and to respect them?
“There is no God”, they told us then. “The Church should know its place”, some in the world tell us now. And these slogans are used in the protests against either the construction of a new Orthodox Cathedral in Paris (because if God is everywhere, Russians living in Paris don’t need to go to church) or in a ludicrous protest against the plans to give St.Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. Few of those “opponents” know that the Cathedral was part of the Russian Orthodox Church until it was turned into a museum by the same barbaric force that brought chaos and despair 100 years ago.
Today’s activists of the Russian liberal “opposition” are essentially the product of the same culture that brought them to life back in 1917. And yet again, despite their loud slogans of “tolerance above all” and apparent atheism, one couldn’t help but notice that their actions tell us that they are deeply involved in Babylonian, Sumerian and Etruscan cults.
The same people who scream “the Church should know its place”, return home to secretly pray to a different God. Even a hundred years later they still bow to Ishtar, Inanna, Ekron and Isis.
Editor’s note: For those unfamiliar with Orthodox Christian tradition of those using the Julian Calendar [including Russians, Ukrainians, Serbians, Georgians, Copts, Ethiopians and Palestinians] the celebrate Epiphany on 19 January is a very special tradition. Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ entered the water of the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. Since that time, it is generally believed that all water on Earth turns holy on Epiphany night every year. For Russians the icy waters of the Volga become sacred at this time, and so the tradition of “cleansing” the soul is carried on. Russia embraced Christianity in 988. It became a tradition in Russia to cut holes in the ice of lakes and rivers, often in the shape of the cross, and to bathe in the freezing water. The believers dip themselves under the water three times for the ritual.