Thursday, 9 April 2009

Institution Cold War? Keston Institute?

In a previous blog I talked about Radio Cold War(Radio Liberty). This time I'd like to introduce you, to what some people call, 'Institution Cold War'?!
Otherwise known as the Keston Institute. The Keston Institute was set up by Michael Bourdeaux(member of Church of England) and is now run by Xenia Dennen (member of Church of England)

It's original aim was very noble: to help people persecuted in the Soviet Union because of their religious belief.

The Keston institute were and still are 'Cold War' Warriors'. Good evidence of this can be found on their website, in which a letter from their chairman excitingly exclaims

"Keston never fought in the Cold War, yet we were in the front line reporting on the battle, telling countless stories of the heroic resistance"

Some might say that they were true revolutionaries with great and noble aims. But, these days they have a problem, the problem is that the Cold War has ended. Believers in Russia are not persecuted anymore. In fact there has been an amazing transformation in belief in Russia.
Russia has now become, thanks to the work of the late Patriarch, one of the best examples of a Christian nation in the world. The Orthodox church in Russia is an amazing institution and one which supports, comforts and brings great satisfaction to many people.

At the same time as Russia has been embracing and re-building it's religious base, church attendances in the West have disintegrated at an amazing rate, to the extent that countries such as the UK cannot really be called a Christian country.

So did the Keston institute celebrate the triumphant rise of Orthodoxy in Russia? No like most revolutionaries, once the revolution has happened they become lost, finances started to dry up, support started to wither and their public profile started to drop. So what to do? The only thing for revolutionaries to do in this position is to try and maintain a revolutionary stance, 'keep the fire burning, keep the 'Cold War going'.

One might suggest, that the above stance as a provocateur is vital for their survival. But how do you do this when your aims have been achieved? Well as history shows most revolutionaries maintain their existence by turning on their subject. This is what the Keston Institute have done, they have turned on the subject which they defended for many years, they have become 'attack dogs' against the Russian Orthodox church. They are trying to re-frame a church which helps millions of people as the bad guy. In their eyes the Russian Orthodox church is "authoritarian and totalitarian" and is being run by ex KGB.

Although potentially this spin might bring them rewards, status and a platform, it is a very insulting to a nation which has put Christian Values at the heart of their being.

It also feels like a waste of energy. Would it not be better if the Keston Institute focused it's attentions on the internal problems that the Church of England now faces? Some might say that it is time for them to bury the Cold War and to try and rebuild the UK into a more Christian nation.


  1. Christianity is doomed, sorry to say, but it's true.It no longer applies to our times.
    Nice info, though. It looks like you're part of the Orthodox Church in England. Mind you, I meant no offense. It's just one opinion.

  2. I agree with the above. Secular humanist nations are the only way of the future.

  3. Because Church of England attendances can be seen in decline in many places is not a good case for saying that Christianity is doomed. University cities such as Nottingham can show that young people do shun the traditional churches supported by 'golden oldies' but they do so in favour of new mode churches that are attracting thousands. It is from there that The Message will be carried out to the world in future.