The Russian Orthodox Church is the property of the government, financed by the import of cigarettes and spirits at an extremely large scale. These taxed products are at the same time a nice source of income for the Department of Finance in Moscow. No objections, no questions, no problems.
The priests of the Russian Orthodox Church dislike representatives from the Protestant-Christian churches of the Western World. Increasingly, the police keeps them at a distance; sometimes waving people away when they are taking pictures. They fear the preaching of ministers and missionaries from the West; the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church do very little preaching during their services.
Sometimes they remind visitors of an historic conflict they had in 1371 with the sect of the Strigolniki who attacked the State Church.
They have the viewpoint that their followers’ salvation depended on their doing good works.
The same priests who worked in the time of the Soviet Union are still at their posts under the Federal Russian Union under President Putin. Russian Christian Radio calls the church government officials a corrupt political power. The common man on the street is not aware of this and does not worry about it.
Visitors from western countries should not be impressed with the beautiful singing choirs of the monks, the pieces of art and the golden ornaments. Some priests are members of the Secret Service (according to “Voice of the Martyrs”). But in the city of Novgorod there exists the one and only Protestant Christian Church of the whole of Russia. It has its own radio and TV studios which reach a big part of Russia. They are helped by ministers and missionaries from the USA (financed by private organizations). They are protected by the burgomaster and the governor of the area, who are both Christians.