Patriarch Kirill is said to enjoy a close relationship with Medvedev (left) and Putin (center)
The largest church in Saint Petersburg, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, is to be transferred from Russia's museum holdings into the hands of the Orthodox Church. The decision has caused protests and is not an isolated case.
Saint Isaac's Cathedral is a "must" for tourists. It is the largest and most famous church in Saint Petersburg, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent building, with its highly visible golden dome, attracted some 3.8 million visitors in 2016. However, these days the cathedral is at the center of a fight in the Russian cultural metropolis; which also happens to be Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown.
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WNU Editor: First things first .... a disclaimer .... I am Russian Orthodox. The role of the Russian orthodox church in Russia has always been under-reported in the West .... but it has always played a critical role in Russian society .... even when the Communists were in power. The church is also enjoying a rebirth today .... its pews are always full, and as a voting bloc .... if a Russian politician does not get an endorsement, his chances of winning are nil. Putin knows this .... hence the close ties with the church, and why he goes out of his way to always cultivate his ties with the church leadership .... including giving this cathedral in Saint Petersburg to the church. On a side note .... the two other institutions that are untouchable in Russia today is the government/military/bureaucracy, and land owners who in the past would have been part of the nobility. The Communists came to power 100 years ago .... and now the system that they despised and thought they had destroyed has returned more stronger than ever .... there is a message there somewhere.