The State Department accused Russia of maliciously instrumentalizing Orthodox identity in order to promote geopolitical interests.
As the State Department spokesperson noted, “Russia is engaged in covert and overtly malicious attempts to instrumentalize Orthodox identity to promote its own geopolitical interests, with the support of certain Orthodox Churches and other leaders, while undermining other Churches.”
Moreover, the US official stressed the importance that the United States attached to the promotion and protection of religious freedoms. “Protecting religious freedom or belief, including the freedom of religious minorities, remains a key element of US foreign policy.
Individuals should be free to make decisions about how they express their religious beliefs, without outside interference, including from foreign governments.”