Russian President Putin and Abbot Ephraim appear to have a strong partnership going back many years. Putin has been reported to have made numerous trips to the Monasteries of Mt. Athos going back almost 2 decades.
Back in 2011, Russian President Putin had sought to visit Mount Athos where he was to meet with Father Ephraim.
In February of 2011, reports indicate that Abbot Ephraim took Vladimir Putin’s confession while the Abbot was on a trip to Russia carrying the remains of Saint Maximus.
In November of 2011, Abbot Ephraim played a role in helping Putin win election as Russian president, supporting the comrade with religious artifacts that were put on tour as part of Putin’s campaign to win election.
Just before the December 2011 Russian Presidential Elections, the belt of the Virgin Mary showed up for a photo opportunity for Vladimir Putin, candidate for election to the Presidency of Russia. The belt is believed to have the power to boost fertility.
With Abbot Ephraim’s support, the Putin sent the belt on a tour through 14 or more Russian cities where lines of Russians waited in up to 2 mile lines for a chance to pray in front of the belt and receive the rumored blessings of fertility the belt allegedly had the powers to bestow upon believers. More at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/19/us-russia-orthodox-election-idUSTRE7AI0SV20111119
A website http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/2011/12/from-russia-with-love.html
details the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Abbot Ephraim and details the origins of the deal.
“Archimandrite EPHRAIM: Mr. Putin, I am very glad to have been by your side all this time. We are amazed at the number of Russian people who came to worship the Cincture [Belt]. All of us, the monks at Vatopedi Monastery who brought the belt, have attended the sites of worship and personally witnessed people’s eagerness to touch the holy relic. This shows that Russians have profound faith. I am certain that this is the greatest strength of your nation, and it is a strength that brings our countries together. Greece is going through a difficult period and I ask you to provide assistance to our country wherever possible under these challenging conditions. I would also like to thank Mr. Yakunin, chairman of St Andrew the First-Called Foundation’s board of trustees [Remember that organization], for his efforts and participation, which made it possible to bring the relic to cities across Russia…
Vladimir PUTIN: I remember my visit to Mount Athos and the warm welcome I received. I want to thank you once again and ask you to pass my best wishes to the Holy Community. I remember the people who accompanied us there, and those who accompanied us unofficially as well. One of them stuck in my memory the most, and I told you about it.
Archimandrite EPHRAIM: Certainly. The Holy Mountain shows its love for you. (Emphasis added)
Vladimir PUTIN: Many thanks. Russia and Mount Athos have centuries-long ties, going back to the 18th century. There is a Russian monastery and many Russian pilgrims visit the mount.”
Abbot Ephraim sent to prison
Following the successful election of Putin as Russian President, just before the end of 2011, the Greek government sent Father Ephraim to Jail, where he wasn’t released until March 29th, 2012. President Putin came to his defense and lobbied for his release. More at http://americanfreepress.net/?p=3827
After Abbot Ephraim was released from prison, he reportedly relocated to the St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence Arizona. The close connections between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Father (Abbot) Ephraim, and the Greek Orthodox monasteries in North America raises many questions about the role the Ephraim controlled monasteries may be playing in helping Russia to infiltrate the United States and US Ally Canada.
Amazingly enough, the US government doesn’t require form 990 tax filings for the Ephraim run monasteries, making them an excellent vehicle for moving U.S. dollars in or out of the US without easy detection by the public. Businesses listing charitable contributions or expenses paid to any of the Greek Orthodox Monasteries run by Father Ephraim should be closely scrutinized to trace the validity of the transactions and ensure no malfeasance is at play.
One has to also question whether the Ephraimite Greek Orthodox Monasteries could be a vehicle for manipulating the U.S. elections by funneling cash into electoral campaign coffers?
Russian President Vladirmir Putin and Father Ephraim center
There is a need for reform in the U.S.
Organization’s including religious charities that receive preferential tax status such as 501 C 3 should all be required to file the form 990. Without filing the form 990, it becomes near impossible to audit such organizations to verify that tax deductible contributions reported by other charities, businesses and individuals do not exceed the contributions and income reported by the religious institution.
It should be of concern to all U.S. citizens that the many Greek Monasteries across the U.S. controlled by Father Ephraim have their books fully disclosed. Perhaps a matter of national security?
Father Ephraim has an ever extending reach across the U.S. The St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona, Fr. Ephraim’s reported base of operations in the U.S., reports on its website a network of more than 17 monasteries across the U.S. and Canada. This includes many potential bases for the Russian government in numerous metropolitan areas surrounding the following cities where such monasteries exist according to the website http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/map.php
- Holy Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Saxonburg, PA
- Holy Monastery of St. Kosmas Aitolos in Bolton, Ontario Canada
- Holy Monastery of Panagia Parigoritissa in Quebec Canada
- Holy Monastery of St. John Chrysostomos in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
- Holy Protection Monasterya in White Haven, PA
- Holy Monaster of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring in Dunlap, CA
- Holy Monastery of St. John the Forerunner in Goldendale, WA
- Holy Monastery of St. Anthony in Florence, AZ
- Holy Archangels’ Monastery in Kendalia, TX
- Holy Monastery of Panagia Vlahernon in Williston, FL
- Annunciation Monastery in Reddick, FL
- Holy Trinity Monastery in Smith Creek, MI
- Holy Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa in Troy, NC
- Panagia Pammakaristou in Lawsonville, NC
- Holy Monastery of St. Nektarios in Roscoe, NY
- Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Harvard, IL
- Holy Monastery of St. Paraskevi in Washington, TX
After Father Ephraim was released from jail, the Putin appeared to seek permission to visit Father Ephraim at the Mount Athos Monastery but was denied at the time.
April 5, 2012 published on sedmitsa.ru
Greek officials have not given permission to VV Putin to visit Mount Athos
Regular application for pilgrims to visit Mount Athos (and including – Vatopedi Monastery) in the days of Holy Week, which filed VV Putin was rejected under the pretext that at this time all officials will be on Easter vacation.
ATHENS. 4 April it became known to refuse to allow the Greek side, the Russian prime minister, the elected President of the Russian Federation VV Putin two-day pilgrimage to Mount Athos, he was going to take on Holy Week. Including VV Putin planned to visit the monastery of Vatopedi and meet with the Abbot Ephraim, recently released from detention.
Regular application for pilgrims to visit Mount Athos was rejected under the pretext that at this time all officials will be on Easter holidays, the agency “Romfeya.”
Putin has made the pilgrimage back to Mount Athos to meet with monks on numerous occasions over the years.
During his Summer trip in August of 2013, Putin was reported to have been planning a pilgrimage to Mount Athos, then to the islands of Apocalypse and Patmos, plus other destinations. He was reported to have visited the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian as well. What type of business was conducted on those trips? More at http://www.pravmir.com/putin-to-visit-mount-athos/
Later in January of 2014, Putin appeared at the newly built Orthodox Church in Sochi along with Christian artifacts provided by Monasteries in Mount Athos for an Orthodox Christmas celebration service that took place on January 6th, 2014.
The Patriarch ceremonially placed inside the church a shrine containing sacred relics brought from Mount Athos in Greece, believed to be the gifts of gold, Frankincense and myrrh presented by the Magi, or Three Wise Men to the Baby Jesus.