Russian director says tsunami sent to punish "Godless" people

 
After the tragedy of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, most Russians rushed to express their sympathy and offer the Japanese people their help. Most, but not all.
 
The first to make waves was Russian Orthodox priest Alexandr Shumsky, who published an article titled “The end of the Japanese Miracle” on March 14. He wrote that the earthquake and tsunami were God’s way of punishing Japan for offending Russia.
 
In his opinion, the disaster was sent to the Japanese because some protesters burned Russian flags and destroyed portraits of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev after his visit to the Kuril Islands in November. The string of tiny volcanic islands north of Japan has been at the centre of a bitter territorial dispute between the two nations since the end of World War II.
 
The same sentiment was expressed by Elena Yampolskaya, deputy editor of Izvestia, a major Russian newspaper known for its close ties with the Kremlin. Yampolskaya said that the earthquake was proof that God protects Russia from Japanese offenders.
 
But the biggest splash by far was made by Nikita Sergeevich Mikhalkov, a world-renowed Russian movie director who is no stranger to controversy. On March 16, he delivered a lecture in the Moscow House of Cinema, during which he appeared to say that the earthquake and tsunami were sent to Japan to punish its citizens for their sins.
 
 
Amateur videos of Mikhalkov’s lecture spread quickly on the Russian Web, and sparked heated discussions on Russian media and blogs. While some Web users claimed that Mikhalkov was right to the point, most said that he'd lost his mind and his shame.
 
Two days later, Mikhalkov clarified his position on his own YouTube channel. He said that the meaning of his words had been distorted, and that the Japanese had been punished not for their own sins, but for the sins of the whole world.  To his detractors, however, his statement came as too little, too late. As one of his critics ironically put it, “God punishes the Japanese with the earthquake and us, Russians, with Mikhalkov”.
 
In the past, similar ideas have been expressed by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, concerning other nations. In January 2010, Kirill said that God punished Haiti with the earthquake, and in August 2010 he suggested, though in much milder terms, that the August 2010 forest fires in the greater Moscow area were sent to Russians for their sins.

"The spirit of Mikhalkov’s judgements is far from Christian"

Hieromonk Dionisiy Pozdnyaev, 40, is a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church of St.Paul in Hong-Kong.
 
My personal opinion is that Mr. Mikhalkov is making theories about something that by far exceeds limits of his comprehension. I do not know why he's decided to make these judgments, but their spirit is far from Christian.”

“Chernobyl, the Haiti earthquake, what's happening in Japan – are warnings to mankind, reminders of how dependent and vulnerable we are”

Father Konstantin Kravtsov, 47 is a priest of the Annunciation Church in Petrovsky park, Moscow.
 
In the Judo-Christian tradition, the believers see the vengeful hand of God in any disaster, be it natural or social. It's a Biblical tradition. The prophets of the Old Testament predicted God’s wrath. But not just penance - absolution afterward as well. All ordeals are sent to save – a single man, a people, the humankind. It's done to show how tragic the reality is. 
 
But by seeing God only as punishing judge and executioner, we are creating a false image of him. God’s judgment is not only judgment but also solace. Punishment is not only punishment, but also salvation. As it says in the New Testament: “He who endures to the end shall be saved”. In other words, any disaster is traditionally considered as a “visit” from God.
 
It's important also to note that everything connected. Let me explain: at the beginning, God created a perfect world, which he gave to man. Man used it for himself, breaking away from the creator. And this break has radically changed both human nature and the world - nature itself.
 
One disaster is leading to another. By rejecting supernatural, man yields to natural laws, to the blind elements. In short, it can be said that Chernobyl, the Haiti earthquake, what's happening in Japan – are warnings to mankind, reminders of how dependent and vulnerable we are.
 
They should make him see the world in a more realistic way, and make him start to think of life and death, of the fragility of our world. So we can call it either God's punishment or natural disaster – it’s not the choice of words that matters.
 
What's more important is what conclusions we make of it, will we become wiser, deeper, more human, will we be able to care for those stricken by disaster, or, – unfortunately that tendency also exists, - will we consider it as a punishment for the wicked. God doesn't punish anybody – it's Man who punishes himself. And, of course, it’s not for us to judge those who have suffered. We should pray for them, both for the dead and for the living.”
Post written with freelance journalist Ostap Karmodi.

Comments

Do not judge...

The Russian director must know his tsunami is coming....

Japan

Once again we get the pot calling the kettle black. The Japanese people are no more or less righteous than the Russians or any other people.

Japan

What these people don't seem to understand is that all these tragedies, and, yes they are tragedies, were prophesied in scripture to precede the Second Coming of the Savior, along with wars and rumors of wars.

Russian director says tsunami sent to punish "Godless" people

Who cares what some obscure (presumably film) director & (equaly obscure) religious zealot think - they both live in the world of fiction. Disasters are factual & require real solutions. Religious idealists & purveyors of fiction should stick to their worlds of angels & fantasy. They don't deserve airspace on news sites such as this.

Judging

Well, I don't see how we can know the reasons why things are happening. The Japanese people are very good, kind, and honest. If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone. God would want them to have had the chance to have heard about him before punishing them.

The Japanese people.

The japanese people are a good people. They stand up for their own people and have been trying to expand there culture arounfd the World for 1000s of years. Why are you holding them back. maybe you should try living on a volcano for a few hundred years and see how you feel.
John G wotzka, San Diego, CA

Chernobyl

So God sent Chernobyl to the Russia

Russian Director ranting about God's retributions.

What does an atheist, Communist, Russian (Mikhalkov) know about "God" and anything that such an entity, if there is one, might, or might not, do?

Since he is a cinematic Director, does he even have any direct links to the REAL world?
Or does he usually live in cloud cuckoo land?

Blaming God Or Godless People?

Seems this man is confused. Blaming godless people is breaking the ten commandments of the bible.. Thou shalt not judge etc. I remember that.. Because most people and yes even our Christians... Are hyprocrits, Sorry about the spelling for its too early in the morning for me to think right. We are not all perfect for the reason I believe... We are here to live love learn and yes die. Most godless people run from most religions because we are to blame for everything. So .. Putting guilt on even those that might of not done as wrong as the religious believers. We hear in the news.. How priests etc have preyed on children... Yes we are speaking about sexual abuse and are they judged? No.. Only the fallen or those that get misguided do. Why I believe in nature as my god and if she or he listens to me...Im blessed. I dont worry about things ahead.. I just hope and have faith enough to believe the day or night gets better. All one can do is .. Again To Live >Love> Learn> and Die. Enough blaming and start leading a helping hand during these so called disasters cause God does not help those who sit on their arses waiting for him or jesus to come. He put us on here for reason.. To either be selfish or to be giving. Or even neutral... So .. Three choices are very simple to choose everyone. Enough with the judging and we start doing by taking care of what if... There is a god... To rebuild it and make it bettter. No sense fighting over excuse me for the term... Useless arguements. I aint any better then no one... I just live for myself and know Im as good as I ever be. As long as I do the best I can... I know God loves me. Always DJ Rose.

godless people

Left the space blank,so it has the common factor which is between the ears of our western media and broadcasters A Void .and blank.

Close