Having recently edged out President Obama on the Forbes international-power list, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has now made it to the top.
The long and arduous climb has not been without its pitfalls. Many accuse this former KGB officer of remaining distinctly undemocratic. Wikipedia reports that the 2011 Democratic Index described Putin's as an "authoritarian regime" with "flawed
Nevertheless, many swear by him to the point where Putin has become somewhat of a "pop cultural icon in Russia with many commercial products named after him." Under his rule, there has been marked economic growth, as well as the affirmation of Russia's position as an "energy superpower."
You might say that Putin comes by his "macho superhero" image honestly. Not unlike Teddy Roosevelt, he has engaged in a number of flashy adventures such as tranquilizing tigers, darting whales, driving race cars, flying military jets, and swimming in cold Siberian waters.
Putin's own "religious awakening" has been rooted in his mother's ardent Russian Orthodox beliefs. Even though Putin's father was a "militant atheist," he had tacitly allowed his son to be christened and regularly brought to worship services.
These roots may be somewhat responsible for Putin's "limited state support" of "Russia's traditional religions" (Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism). He has cultivated a good relationship with the Patriarchs of the Russian Church, with the Muslim-majority republics, and with the Hasidic Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.
Copyright October 30, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved