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Never Forget: CHRISTIANS Gave Us the Great Russian Empire and Culture

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Dmitry Smirnov is one of the best known priests in Russia and has a very large following. He is ubiquitous on television, radio, and YouTube, where his videos frequently get 100s of 1000s of views on his channel. (Russian only).

He is a brilliant public speaker and excellent at debate, known for his sharp wit and quick comebacks. He is especially loved for his sermons, and is by far the most popular preacher in Russia.

He is a leading Russian anti-abortion activist, very outspoken in his criticism of LGBT, and an advocate of home-schooling. He heads the Russian Church’s Committee for Family, Motherhood, and Children, and demands that Russians start having large families of four or more children, or else they will be overrun by Moslems.

You can see all the articles we have published about him here.


This is a clip of him on a top Russian talk show, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev.

Here is another example of a popular clip of his – where he discusses the fact that so many priests martyred themselves during the 1917 revolution: 300,000 Russian Priests Were Given a Choice – They All Chose Death.

Transcript:

– Recently, there has been an initiative to change the preamble of the Constitution to give credit to the historical role of Orthodox Christianity. How do you feel about that?

Dmitry Smirnov, one of Russia’s most popular priests:

– I’m glad because it’s true. It’s 26° outside, that’s a fact. It is also a fact that our state was created by the RUSSIAN people whose whole life was centered around the church. They were Christians. 86% of the country was Christian. THEY created the state that gave us: Pushkin, Kazakov, Tolstoy, Suvorov, etc. — this incredibly powerful culture. If some European nation had a mere tenth of what Russia has, it would rank among the great nations of European culture.

Russia has everything: starting with military science and ending with amazing architecture. Everything! Art, music — any sphere you can think of! And all this was created by the RUSSIAN people.

It doesn’t mean that Anton Rubinstein (a Russian Jewish Composer) didn’t put his coin into this piggy bank. Vladimir Dal (an ethnic German) didn’t have a drop of Russian blood but he was a great writer, a master of the Russian language, etc. — Russia was, after all, an empire.

But first and foremost it was RUSSIANS, baptized and believing in Christ, whose highest ideal was HOLINESS. There are only two countries in the world who have this ideal: the other one is Israel. Russia’s highest ideal was holiness.

– We’d have to stop after these words because it’s a brilliant finale.


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

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Denmark school closes due to suspected Omicron Covid-19 case

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Odense Municipality confirmed the closure in a statement on Monday after informing parents and pupils on Sunday evening.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) said on Monday morning that the case is suspected of being linked to the new Omicron variant.

READ ALSO: Denmark does not rule out new travel restrictions after Omicron variant detected

The authority recommends contact tracing up to “third” contacts, or people who have been in contact with suspected close contacts to the confirmed or “first” case.

Pupils and teachers in the same class as the confirmed or “first” case are considered “second” contacts, with close contacts to the class the “third” link.

People who fall into these categories are asked to isolate at home until they have tested negative on the fourth and sixth days since the potential contact.

The school is closed as of Monday while contact tracing is undertaken.



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Trees go to pot to ensure many festive returns

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Christmas trees aren’t just for Christmas, at least for the Cork business with a pot-grown tree initiative that sees householders rent their tree in early December and bring it back to the farm in early January, to be cared for all year around.

Colm Crowley from Glanmire says his 5ft trees, which are rented out for €40 a year, are a very sustainable way to celebrate Christmas.

Customers can rent or buy a living Christmas tree in a pot from Cork Pot Grown Christmas Trees. The rented ones are then taken back to the farm in Rosscarbery, west Cork, after the festive season.

“I started off with small pot-grown trees and I started selling them for €10 or €15 and a lot of customers were coming in asking, ‘have you anything bigger?’ It got me thinking that there was a market for bigger pot-grown Christmas trees.

‘Always alive’

“With the pot-grown trees, they are never dead. They are always alive. They continue to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide oxygen as well,” he says.

“They come with a care leaflet. The water would be the big one: making sure they have enough water but not too much because too much would cause root rot,” he says.

“I found that pot-grown trees are very big in America and it has started spreading to Germany and the UK. I knew that Irish people would love it.”

It takes 12-14 years to grow a Christmas tree from seed, with a lot of work involved in pruning, shaping and making the tree perfect.

“It is only used for four weeks. With the pot growns, we get to use the tree over and over. That said, cut Christmas trees are also very environmentally friendly because when a tree is cut in November, another one or two are planted in spring. With the pot growns, between November and spring that cycle continues, so for those few months the Christmas trees continue to take the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and provide oxygen.”

As rental trees will continue to grow throughout the year, Crowley is anticipating customers not recognising their tree when it is returned to them the following Christmas.

‘Exact same tree’

“They send me pictures looking for the exact same tree,” he says.“With the rentals, you are getting the same Christmas tree you liked and picked out. But it will have continued to grow. There is a lovely smell – you are bringing a bit of forest in your house.”

Crowley says the real Christmas tree business has grown hugely since he first started selling, from his mother Margaret’s house in Ballinlough, Cork city, in 1998 before moving to bigger premises.

Last year was particularly buoyant for sales as families sought to create a festive atmosphere during the pandemic.

“Sales right across the country were probably up around 50 per cent. People wanted a bit of happiness. They needed cheering up.”

Customers are encouraged to name their trees, with the two most popular names being “Spruce Springsteen” and “Woody”.

The father of two adds that he couldn’t survive the December whirlwind without the hard work of wife Jacqui and mother-in-law Rose.



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Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s first woman top diplomat

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It’s a remarkable rebound for the Green party co-leader whose election campaign was derailed by a series of missteps that dashed her hopes of replacing Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Nevertheless, voter concerns about climate change and Baerbock’s pledge to bring a “fresh start” to German politics catapulted the ecologists into third place at the September 26th election, with a record score of 15 percent.

The three-way “traffic light” coalition that emerged — consisting of the centre-left Social Democrats, liberal FDP and the Greens — rewarded Baerbock with the powerful foreign ministry portfolio.

An expert in international law, Baerbock has vowed to put human rights at the centre of German diplomacy — promising a tougher ride for Russia and China after the commerce-driven pragmatism of the Merkel era.

Missteps
The mother-of-two is described as quick on her feet and tenacious, with a meticulous attention to policy details.

“She keeps asking questions until she has really understood an issue,” a party source told the Handelsblatt daily. “She won’t be fobbed off.”

Critics point out that Baerbock has never held a government role, and was a relatively unknown politician even to many Germans not long ago.

Baerbock’s inexperience was laid bare on the campaign trail when she faced scrutiny over a belated bonus declaration, inaccuracies on her CV and allegations of plagiarism in her new book.

At one point, after fumbling a speech to a friendly audience, she was caught on microphone uttering an expletive while leaving the stage.

Baerbock admitted to having made mistakes along the way, and later pulled her book from the market.

But the Greens also hit back at the sexist attacks and online hate campaigns they said no other candidate had faced during the race.

Baerbock rode out the storm, with Greens co-leader Robert Habeck, the more charismatic of the duo, loyally rebuffing calls to replace her as chancellor candidate.

Habeck is now poised to head a new “super ministry” grouping the portfolios of economy, climate protection and energy.

‘Brave’
Raised on a farm near the northern city of Hanover, Baerbock got an early taste of politics when her parents took her to anti-nuclear demonstrations in the 1980s.

As a teenager she took part in trampoline competitions, winning three bronze medals in German championships. The sport taught her to “be brave”, she has said.

Baerbock studied political science and public law in Hanover before getting a master’s degree in public international law from the London School of Economics.

After trying her hand at journalism, she joined the Greens in 2005 and rose to become head of the party’s Brandenburg branch in 2009.

She entered the Bundestag lower house of parliament as a lawmaker in 2013.

She is married to Daniel Holefleisch, a political consultant. They have two daughters and live in Potsdam near Berlin.

As the Greens’ co-leaders since 2018, Baerbock and Habeck have been credited with completing the party’s transformation from its hippy, peace activist roots to a mainstream force to be reckoned with.

In the 2019 European Parliament elections, the Greens soared to 20.5 percent of the vote in Germany.

Against Nord Stream 2
In a break with tradition, both Baerbock and Habeck represent the “Realo” wing of the Green party, seen as more pragmatic and centrist than the radical “Fundi” camp.

Baerbock will be Germany’s second Green foreign minister, following in the footsteps of party veteran Joschka Fischer who served under Gerhard Schroeder from 1998 to 2005.

Staunchly pro-EU, Baerbock favours greater European responsibility in security and defence matters, and opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia that has Merkel’s backing but irked allies.

Baerbock recently accused Moscow of pushing up Europe’s energy prices by withholding gas supplies until the pipeline is fully certified, and said Germany could not let itself be “blackmailed”.

Signalling a more assertive stance on China, Baerbock has called for “dialogue and toughness” and urged the European Union “not to be naive” in its dealing with the Asian giant.

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