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Separation of church and state is a concept which was born in America in the 18th century, and later spread to Europe in the 20th century. It is one of the most important founding principles of the American political system.
Contemporary Russia profoundly disagrees with the West on this point, seeing great advantages in the union of church and state (which is the same as saying there are profound problems with separation of church and state). It is one of the fundamental philisophical differences between Russia and the West.
In this 2.5 minute statement, Putin lays out the reasons why he thinks union of church and state is a good idea, namely:
  • Because it is the cement of social morality
  • Because throughout history the church saved Russia from state-threatening crises:  1612, 1812, 1941-45
  • Because its persecution and absence in Russian society in the 20th century coincided with depravity, bloodshed and civil war