Disciples of moral courage

Alexei Navalny was a political leader of courage. He opposed the policies of the President of Russia, which were not based on righteousness. He was poisoned but survived recuperating in Europe in 2020. After recovery, he boldly went to Russia to be with his people and fight for justice. In the prison, he died at the age of 47 on 16 February 2024.

Christian faith: Alexei repeatedly acknowledged his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once, he was an atheist, later he became a believer. He believed that the Bible provided insights for taking the right action in every situation. Of course, he acknowledges that following the book is not always easy, but he keeps on trying.

Motivation: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) For Alexei Navalny this verse helped him to make the right but tough decisions. He said: “For a modern person this whole commandment— ‘blessed,’ ‘thirsty,’ ‘hungry for righteousness,’ ‘for they shall be satisfied’—it sounds, of course, a little strange, to be honest.”

Pull of mob: Alexei Navalny resisted being pulled by the mob, for he required a greater motivation that may not guarantee political success. The motivation was the Bible.

Not alone: The government and political establishment put him in jail to intimidate and make him realize, he was alone abandoned, strange, and crazy. For most Christians, it is to be a “regular” person—unwilling to step out of line, to expose one’s conscience to any thought that might bring hardship. But Alexei was a radical disciple. Thirsting for righteousness and blessedness of persecution were real and he was not afraid of loneliness.

Moral courage: Explaining his secret of moral courage, he said: First, one should be willing to be sent away from whatever one calls ‘my home,’ – to prison or exile. Second, to be sent away by whomever one calls ‘my people.’ (own countrymen) Third, A Christian never stands alone, because he is part of One Body (the Church) and One story (the mission of God).

Do I have such moral courage?