ISW explains why Putin assembled Russia's Orthodox, Rabbis, and Muftis
This effort is aimed at presenting Russia as a nation that safeguards the rights of its religious minorities. The goal is to garner support and goodwill from Muslim and Jewish audiences, particularly given the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
According to ISW analysts, Putin's meeting with leaders of various Russian religious organizations on October 25 served this purpose. During the meeting, Putin reiterated accusations against the West for fueling international interreligious conflicts and lauded Russia as a symbol of religious harmony. Russian religious leaders echoed Putin's rhetoric and concurred that there has never been any conflict between Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Jews. However, ISW contends that this assertion does not align with the reality.
Nevertheless, the Kremlin frequently promotes ideas that highlight interreligious harmony as a means to alleviate tensions between the increasingly nationalist Russian Orthodox Church and religious minorities within Russia.