Russia’s Coolest Christian, by Russia Insider.
What defines “cool” in today’s culture? Recently I watched a talk show in which celebrity pundits were debating why it is not “cool” to be a Christian in the West. … fear of social marginalisation means that many no longer dare speak openly of their faith in God.
Christians in the Soviet Union felt the same fear. They were kept out of influence and high office, and faith was considered a mental disorder. It is no longer the case, quite the contrary. Modern Russia sees it as cool to be a Christian.
The Night Wolves are a motorcycle gang, wrongly demonized by Western media:
One of the most remarkable of these [new, Christian moral and spiritual navigation] beacons is the leader of the Night Wolves, Russia’s biggest motor bike club. His name is Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed “Khirurg”, or “Surgeon” in English.
Western media do not depict him as a saint, but as a sinner of the Dirty Dozen variety. They demonise him for his close relationship with President Putin. The Night Wolves are depicted as “Putin’s Hells Angels”, because Putin has visited the club in western Moscow on several occasions, and rode next to Khirug, albeit on a tri-wheeler Harley Davidson, at a Sevastopol bike show in 2010. In addition, Putin awarded Zaldostanov the prestigious Order of Honour medal for his “active work on the patriotic education of youth” and for his efforts to preserve the memory of the fallen in the Great Patriotic War, or Second World War, as it is known in the West.
Western negative and simplistic demonization is intended to hide a completely different reality. The Night Wolves are no mere bad boy bikers. Alexander Zaldostanov is actually one of Russia’s foremost Christian activists.
Being a night wolf does not mean indulging in sex, drugs and rock’n roll. Instead, it means developing new forms and methods aiming to apply traditional Christian and spiritual values in combination with the activities appropriate to being a Russian motor cyclist. This includes organising several annual pilgrimages. Khirug developed from merely “cool” to Christian, and then to what he is now: a cool Christian.
“I am a warrior”, Surgeon emphasises, and “the West is not only post-Christian but anti-Christian.” The Night Wolves represent to a higher degree the struggle between Christianity and the forces of Anti-Christ than a mere political struggle between Russia and the West.
The wolves, usually an aggressive predator, represent the forces of good. They speak of winning through love, friendship and hope. They speak of the lies oppressing their people. The wolves find their strength in loyalty to truth. They represent the good power that fights for Russia.
hat-tip Stephen Neil