Nashi Youth Camp (TIME ONLINE)
By SHARON K. GILBERT
April 13, 2008
IN PART I of this article, we followed Russia’s religious history, pointing out the incestuous relationship between government and church. We saw how tsarist ‘king-maker’ Patriarchs ruled an uneducated peasantry through secular proxies only to be devoured by the very government they engendered.
As illustrated by Christ’s parable of the demons in Matthew, no house remains spiritually empty for long, and this is also true of Russia. In the vacuum created by the Communist rise and eventual fall, a new spirituality arose, most of it based on spirits who bear no love for Christ.
One such cult mentioned is the Rus’ Resurrecting cult, centering on Vladimir Putin as the reincarnation of both King Solomon and St. Paul. While this sect may be small in number, the core belief runs throughout Russia’s youth in a different, yet far more sinister form of worship: Nashi.
The Russian term Nashi is translated as ‘ours’. Nashi has its roots in Vasily Yakemenko’s ‘Walking Together’ movement of 2000. By 2002, membership swelled to 50,000, organized into small cells of five each (called ‘stars’). Members visited battlefields for inspiration and spent free time reading Russian classics (while condemning modern writing to the point of destroying works such as Vladimir Sorokin’s Blue Salo, which portrayed Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev as gay lovers).
On March 1, 2005, Yakemenko announced a new movement called Nashi — ostensibly to act as street soldiers against a growing ‘Nazi menace’ in Russia. Private donations from elite businessmen, coupled with rumored Kremlin support, provided an enormous support structure for Russia’s new paramilitary. Ironically, Nashi soon came to eerily resemble the very Nazi organization they supposedly were created to counter.
Nashi adherents eat, drink, and sleep Russian nationalism. These young men and women look to Putin as their great leader, seen not as a mere president, but as a new Tsar. He is their ruler — their father — their mystical link to a new Russia — a Russia that is ‘ours’.
Camp meetings promote not only fanatic devotion but also propagation. Nashi teens are encouraged to marry within the ranks. Nashi organizers even provide the wedding rings, bridal gown, and a ‘red tent’ for the wedding night, where the happy couple is expected to immediately begin a family of no less than three offspring. Again, the Nazi comparison is glaring — marriage within specified groups isn’t far removed from eugenics.
Vladimir Putin, the robust Russian’s Russian, rabidly worshiped by Nashi youth and prayed to by Rus’ Resurrectionists, now sits atop a religious/political machine that could easily sweep him a lifetime appointment as Father of All the Russias. Tsar Vlad could become a reality, and is very likely the primary dream of both the Nashi paramilitary and the Rus’ Resurrectionist die-hards. In such a capacity, Putin embodies the bridge between religion and government — priest and king. St. Paul and King Solomon.
And therein lies the true danger. Russia’s clean-swept house now boasts a host of evil spirits — one might even say a ‘legion’ of entities, all pulling together to propel one man, Vladimir Putin, to the forefront of international politics. Ah, but Putin’s presidency is all but over, you say. Dmitry Medvedev will soon take over the reins of Russia.
Really? Let’s not forget that Vladimir Putin has not retired. He is to become the new Prime Minister of Russia, a position traditionally subservient to that of President (we’ll see how that plays out in the coming months). And should anything happen to Medvedev, Putin (as PM) would become President. (Watch your back, Dmitry).
Prophecy scholars often point to Russia as the identity of the head country mentioned in the Gog, Magog prophecy of Ezekiel 38. Rosh (which means ‘head’):
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts [of armour, even] a great company [with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: ersia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: [and] many people with thee. (Ezekiel 38:2-6)
Putin has certainly displayed a desire for power, and he’s spent nearly his entire presidency building an empire based on the commerce of energy (Gazprom’s vast network of natural gas pipelines) and military pacts (essentially, Putin has promised to ‘come to the aid’ of nearly every country in opposition to the US and UK).
The Phoenix flies high over Russian soil, and demonic spirits inhabit the dark places thereof. But the true Light of Jesus Christ also shines into those dark places, and there are genuine believers within the peoples who live there. And so, it falls to you and to me, to those of us who claim Christ as King and High Priest. We must open our eyes to the spiritual chaos that now threatens the land of the Tsars, the land once trod by St. Andrew, and we must lift up those who live there today.
But is the land of Russia the only land inhabited by unholy spirits? Stay tuned — next, we’ll take a look at a disturbing trend here in the United States — a trend that threatens the very heart of America, the Protestant Churches.
(Next week: Is Your Church about to Shift?)