Russian Orthodox Bishop Promotes Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory

Mariano Mantel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Argued That Last Russian Czar Was Killed In Jewish Ritual

Father Tikhon Shevkunov, a Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, has begun an investigation into whether Nicholas II, the last Russian czar, and other members of the royal family were ritual murder victims. The perpetrators of this systematic killing were thought by many to be the handiwork of angry Jews. The Bishop said this investigation of the 1918 event has absolutely no ant-Semitic connections. Other than the church, the Investigative Committee, the Russian equivalent of the FBI, has stated its intention to investigate the theory.

A Bolshevik firing squad executed Nicholas II along with his wife and five children on July 17, 1918. This happened only a year after the monarchy was overthrown by a communist revolution. The events led to the Russian civil war. The Orthodox Church of Russia made Nicholas and all his family members saints in 2000.

Historical documents say that the Bolsheviks killed Czar Nicholas. Conspiracy theorists, however, promote the theory that Jews actually killed him. This view is a favorite among anti-Semites and right-wing groups. These groups conflate communists and Jews. The communist revolution is blamed on the Jews by these groups. These views have found traction among members of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian emigres after the revolution.

The reality is although a few high ranking Bolshevik leaders happen to be Jews, most of the Russian Jewish population were not Bolshevik supporters. Present-day Russian Jews have expressed concerns that such anti-Semitic myths are presently being pushed again by religious leaders. Experts have arrived at the same conclusion. They admit that anti-Semitism continues to be a persistent problem within Russia.

Such is the deep rot within Russian civil society that there exists a mythical Jewish plot in anti-Semitic manifesto ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. This was authored in 1903 where the author wrote about a plan for global domination hatched by the Jews. Such claims of persecution by the Jews have been utilized for centuries to legitimize persecution of Jews.

The ‘ritual’ aspect to the killing has also no basis whatsoever. The word itself is taken from the medieval practice of ‘blood libel’. The theory is that the Jews in medieval times allegedly kidnapped Christian children and murdered them. They then used the latter’s blood to be a part of religious rituals during the Jewish holidays. Father Shevkunov has refuted the allegation that he has implicated the Jews.

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