Russia’s Power Games Extend to the Orthodox Church

Pushing back against Russia’s multipronged assault on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which includes Putin and Erdogan’s coordinated pressure on an institution they see as posing a threat to their respective illiberal projects, requires devising and implementing a concerted transatlantic strategy.

Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, on November 7 returned to his seat in Istanbul following a sixteen-day visit to the United States. Bartholomew is the spiritual leader of nearly 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide and the first among equals of Orthodox church leaders. During his trip, Bartholomew received an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University and met with U.S. president Joe Biden at the White House.

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