The Spero Forum website reports today (January 13, 2012) that Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin -- head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations -- has proposed that Russia establish "Christian or Orthodox parties or in-party groups."
"The (Orthodox) Church is positive about the prospect of setting up Christian or Orthodox parties, but it won't provide them with exclusive support or bless them. The Church is for all, not for allies of a certain political force," Fr. Chaplin writes in the Orthodox Politics blog.
Kirill Frolov -- head of the Association of Orthodox Experts -- favors such a party, saying "Orthodox values would go to our political life."
On the other hand, Dmitry Oreshkin -- a political scientist -- finds Fr. Chaplin's proposal dangerous, because Russia is a multi-faith society and an Orthodox party could cause interfaith tensions. More than 70 percent of Russians consider themselves to be Orthodox Christians.