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Moscow, Russia - The recent landslide election of Dmitry Medvedev was declared to be the "the will of God" and "entirely biblical" by Alexei the Second, Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Patriarch made his pronouncement during a press conference where he praised Medvedev and pledged support of the ROC's resources to bolster his presidency.
The Russian Orthodox Church has increasingly gained prominence in recent years, taking every opportunity to portray Russian Orthodoxy in partnership with Russian political power. Vladimir Putin, Russia's current president has encouraged this linkage by reciprocating in kind, softening his former-KGB image by proclaiming himself to be a "true Russian Orthodox believer" and vowing to push the ROC's agenda to regain power even as the ROC supports Kremlin control.
The fact that Medvedev was the only candidate given free access to the press, unhindered from campaigning and never jailed throughout the campaign season was down played by Kremlin spokesmen. It was clear from the beginning that only one candidate would seriously be presented to the Russian public for this vote. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) boycotted the election in protest of the one-sided measures taken by President Putin's team to ensure Medvedev's success.
Calvinists across Russia ruefully found themselves in agreement with Patriarch Alexei. "It certainly does appear that God's will has been done," commented Carl Maxim, a Baptist missionary serving in Archangel, Russia. "Whenever something happens, looking back, we must accept historical fact as the voice of God, at least in a passive will sense."
Russian Baptists throughout Russia were, however, quick to challenge the Patriarch's claim that the election was "biblical". Nickoli Nickoliavich, pastor of a small congregation of Russian Baptists in Omsk complained, "The election was entirely Russian, but not entirely biblical."
Countered Patriarch Alexei, "But the election was biblical. The same thing happened when God brought Eve to Adam and said, 'Go ahead, choose your wife.'"