Vladamir Putin Fidei Def!

Most British coins carry the letters F D after the name of the monarch. This is short for the Latin Fidei Def which translated is Defender of the Faith. The title was first granted by Pope Leo X in 1521 to the English King, Henry VIII. Following the break with Rome and the excommunication of Henry by Pope Pius III the title was revoked. Then in 1544 Parliament conferred the title on the English monarch as defender of the Anglican faith.

A most unlikely character has now emerged as claimant to being a defender of the faith. At a meeting leaders of the Russian Orthodox church spoke to Vladimir Putin about the plight of Christians all over the world. Metropolitan Illarion, said that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world. Putin assured the Patriarchs that if reelected protecting Christians worldwide would be a main foreign policy issue.

A piece of electioneering perhaps, but we should recognize that Russia has influence in counties which are closed to the West. Even some support for oppressed minority groups of Christians would help to relieve their plight.