Authorities in the Soviet Union executed at least 200,000 members of the Russian Orthodox clergy, according to Kremlin records, while millions of other Christians faced imprisonment or discrimination at the hands of the officially atheist state.
recent years, Patriarch Kirill, the church’s leader, has made public statements on a range of issues, from Russia’s “holy war” in Syria to the “abomination” of gay marriage. The patriarch has also described Putin’s rule as a “miracle of God.”
Like many other religious groups, including the Russian Orthodox Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been rocked in recent years by child abuse scandals. In Britain, dozens of current and former members alleged in March that they had been sexually assaulte
Putin might be an Orthodox Christian, but if you stand on the streets of Moscow with a sign saying ‘Let’s build a Christian community in Russia,’ then, under our laws, you can be locked up,” he says.


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