Virtual temple was opened on May 8. “In the days of mourning for the victims of the Second World War, those who believe in the Highest Man’s Value opened the first virtual church with the blessing of God, to atone for mortal sins of gregariousness and militarism, revealing a tradition of virtual worship for the sake of objection goodness to all mankind” – according to the website.
Smile as a ritual
New religious movement of “those who believe in the Highest Man’s Value” started the young Ukrainian journalist Yuri Shelyazhenko. He claims that he learned “upwards” about new religion, after a long search for explanations in other religions, the phenomenon of direct connection of his soul with God.
Yuri himself conducts the services in a virtual church. He wears the loud title of “Keeper of the Faith” and publishes the magazine “Morality”- the official print organ of the Religious community which professes Faith in the Highest Man’s Value. The journal is registered by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. These are pocket brochures with the red cover, filled with various spiritual texts.
All the sacred scripture of the new religion is placed on the three dozen pages in one issue of the magazine “Morality.” And one of the commandments in the “Symbol of Faith” requires… to smile. “Smile – the most convincing proof that the soul exists and gives me faith! War can sometimes be turned into a joke by the supernatural power of the human soul. Creation of good manner is one of the important moral principles” – quotes the scripture Yuri.
Shrine of good personality
Keeper of the Faith, with a smile refuses to report the number of his parishioners, citing the secrecy of confession. According to him, the faith of one man is just as important as the faith of millions, so the task of civilization – to embody the spiritual equality of the individual and the collective as their parity in the public and legal spheres.
“God puts humanity the task to overcome the sin of the gregariousness, the desire to dissolve their individuality into instinctively breeding communities and collectives. Good personality – it is all the best in man, the soul – it is a shrine, which must be protected. God wants everyone to believe in himself, strive for excellence and understand that the staff is no more and no wiser than the person, that you can not go with the flow, follow the tastes of demagogues who get in packs. Everyone should think about the future, feel responsible for their fate and do good by themselves, listening to the voice of God, the soul and common sense,” – says Yuri.
According to the Keeper of Faith, he created a temple on the Internet, because property must resist evil: “If the World Wide Web is preached the so-called netocracy, calling on people to be atheists and refuse the individuality, embedding in the cells of pointless network structures, someone had to create at the Internet and a temple dedicated to God. So who, if not I am?”
A new understanding of family values
Explaining the differences in social values of his and other religions, Yuri draws attention to the concept of the family and the church: “In the traditional sense the family is based on the alliance of man and woman with the dominant role of man. Believers of the Highest Man’s Value refuses such a materialistic approach and believe that the family is an association of people who are constantly leading a life together according to the principles of mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual co-creation of property and parenting. For example, I’m willing to bless homosexual family unit, if I can be proved that it is intended to do property. In the traditional understanding – the church is a holy union of the people. In my religion, the church is considered as immaterial, it is divine truth and value of cooperation of people, who are spreading teachings that translate into reality the ideals of the good.”
Yuri has and “universal moral criterion” capable to distinguish well from evil: “Humiliation of the Highest Man’s Value – it is evil, the statement of the Highest Man’s Value – is property.” If a believer can not independently apply this criterion in any particular case, at his request the Keeper of the Faith has to check all the facts and render a written opinion “about the separation of good and evil.”
Dialogue with the Orthodox
According to Keeper of the Faith, any “good” religion saves people’s souls from evil, regardless of the number of believers. World religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism – Yuri finds undoubtedly good, referring to the scripture of his religion. For a good religion, he classing also Judaism, Hinduism, Shinto, “and many others,” as well as, of course, his own religion.
At the same time, the rituals and stereotypes, which are “degrading man,” Yuri finds evil, unworthy of any religion or philosophy: “Evil is justified by false references to authoritative sources and ancient mythology. But I am ready to prove on the basis of basic moral values of any good teaching, that it somehow reflects the Highest Man’s Value, and all contrary to this shrine is not worthy of attention. A striking example is atheism. It spread through Europe during the Renaissance as a forerunner of Humanism, as a negation of the false stereotype that the man is despicable servant of God, wretched insect in the abyss of the universe. Atheists believe that the man – his own master, and so share the Highest Man’s Value. But some rude people, who call themselves atheists, ready to humiliate clergymen for hours, to scoff, telling obscene jokes. This is characteristic of some left. And, in my opinion, this is not true atheism. After all, the humanistic moral principles compel the true atheist to respect the feelings and convictions of believers, as long as believers do not overstep the line of morality and common sense.”
For dialogue with spokesmen of other religions Yuri opened a blog on the site of the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. “I’ve talked a lot with Christians, Orthodox and Catholics, about their religion and Christianity. Some stereotypes I had to dispel many times” – he says – “For example, I constantly have to tell that belief in the Highest Man’s Value – is not self-centeredness. Because the self-centeredness, in contrast, is a manifestation of sin herd instinct: the desire to dominate the group. And my religion offers people a conscious cooperation for the common good as an alternative to the unconscious herd. I constantly have to explain that I do not aspire to popularity, wealth and other material goods. And so on … Answers to these questions I have gathered in the article “Dialogue with other faiths,” which published in the journal “Morality.”
Yuri says that representatives of other religions sometimes give him a topic for sermons: “Once I analyzed the approval of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill that God allowed the Chernobyl disaster as retribution for man’s sins. I had to explain that not God, but people have made catastrophe as a result of ignorance and herd instinct, collective unwillingness to listen to the warning voice of God and make every effort to ensure a high level of security. A copy of the sermon, I sent the Patriarch in Moscow with the wishes of spiritual growth.”
Everyone can communicate with God
“The main ritual of my religion – a direct two-way communication of every believer with God” – says Yuri – “Here we are talking not only about human prayers and miracles that God is doing in response. I believe that each of us mentally apply by thoughts to God as to the ideal, the creator, the source of all human souls. Therefore, life is inseparable from communion with God: any words and doings of man can be a pray, God’s voice can be heard in everything, everything that attracts attention. God always answers addressed to him thoughts and prayers, it is important to hear the answer. And it’s important to understand that the Word of God is usually very abstract, with the exception of rare wonders. We must be wise when interpret heard from God. In general, shrines and rituals of my religion, to someone may seem too philosophical, but it is – a guarantee of their moral purity.”
God for Yuri – the personification of the Highest Man’s Value of Man,” “truth and substance,” “human ideal,” “creator of all and supreme will.” The Highest Man’s Value he calls a soul, which, in turn – all the best in the mind: thoughts and ideas, plans and intentions, dreams, knowledge, love and passion, patience and humility, imagination, hope, understanding and compassion.”
In this case, Yuri believes that God has no name, because “everyone turns to God in his own way.” Devil in the new religion also doesn’t exist – Keeper of the Faith says that it’s just a fairy tale: “Evil has no face, it is a brutal chaos. And, since God is perfect, it can not have enemies. God is not at war and not vengeance. Thinking differently, ascribing to evil personality traits, we are making a big mistake – create evil within yourself.”
Yuri considers his religion as the beginning of a new spiritual movement for the closeness of the person to God in the new global world, living according to the principles of liberalism and human rights: “It is impossible to liberate the individual from psychological oppression, until the person considers himself a slave of God or the tiniest speck of dust nature. In the world of all-powerful states and corporations my religion will allow people to save humanity, respect each other, not to fight with strangers, do not be afraid of the unknown, always strive for new horizons. We should always listen firstly to God and only then – to the advertising and promotion that requires the person mindless consumption and loyalty, self-sacrifice in the name of someone else’s benefit and preservation of stagnation.”