Decorated outdoor stage in front of a public school entrance in Moscow
There is no "War on Christmas" in Russia, apparently. That would be so "Communist era"--and Western secular! To get a whiff of old fashioned antagonism toward Christian social customs you have come to the U.S. and visit the offices of the ACLU, Citizens United for Separation of Church and State and various purblind government offices. Our Discovery colleague from Russia, Yuri Mamchur, who heads the Real Russia Project, is in Moscow this week and says that his old public high school now sports a "huge Christmas crÃ¨che" in front of the building. No problem. No complaints.
Since Russia is predominantly and increasingly Orthodox, of course, the celebration of the birth of Jesus isn't emphasized there for another week and a half. Charles Ganske of Discovery Institute's Real Russia Project, meanwhile, has this fascinating look at the reported rise of Christian sentiment in Russia since the fall of Communism. It is interesting on several counts, one being that an Orthodox revival has not generated discernible antagonism toward other faiths, even though the governmental bureaucracy is suspicious of new, proselytizing faiths to the point of harassment in some cases.
Overall, Americans will see the new surveys on religion as hopeful signs of the revival of mediating institutions in Russia. Many also will add Russia to the list of nations--notably China and sub-saharan Africa--where Christianity is gaining active believers in large numbers. Everyone is free to speculate on the possible implications for the world's culture, politics and economy.