Gagarin and Orthodox Christianity

  1. Lemma
  2. Гагарин и православие
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 18-05-2018
  7. Забелин, Константин [Author]. Гагарин и православие
  8. Русская беседа
  9. Outer Space - Cosmonaut - Russian Orthodoxy - Yuri Gagarin
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Забелин, Константин (2011). Гагарин и православие. <em>Русская Беседа</em>. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. This article is posted on an internet forum debating astronaut Yuri Gagarin's faith. The author states that after his flight into space, Gagarin gained worldwide fame and was worshiped by many people in the USSR and abroad. State propaganda tried to use his feat to promote atheism, stressing that Gagarin did not see God in space. The article maintains that the authorities even tried to force the clergy to mention the absence of God in space to their parishioners.

      Many priests, however, disobeyed. For example, in April 1961, Archbishop Joseph (Chernov) of Alma-Ata and Kazakhstan, told the crowd after the main sermon that although Gagarin had not seen God, God had seen Gagarin and had even blessed him. Other priests gave similar answers. Archimandrite Alipiy (Voronov), rector of the Pskov-Caves Monastery, for example would say that the meeting of Gagarin with God “was not scheduled on the program” as in the USSR the Church was separated from the state.

      The issue of Gagarin’s faith is indeed a contestable one. The author mentions that Gagarin was baptised and was seen on several occasions in churches and monasteries, the most famous case being his visit to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. It is not clear, however, whether he was indeed a believer. The author believes that he was. The articles mentions a less known episode of Gagarin’s meeting with a Smolensk holy nun, Makariya Temkinskaya. According to the author, Gagarin showed high respect for Makariya and helped her financially and with administrative social aid demarches. The author concludes by arguing that many other astronauts embraced Orthodoxy following Gagarin’s suit.