This chapter introduces themes of care, kindness, compassion, civic action, social justice, and faith-based assistance within the context of contemporary Russian society. The chapter presents the ethnographic field site of Moscow’s faith-based assistance community and sets the stage for the book’s larger discussion about the ways in which members of this community link their acts of assistance with performances of civic action and possibilities for understanding faith as a form of affective labor that produces future-oriented results. The discussion is contextualized within details about Russia’s contemporary political and economic situation, including the unique position of non-Orthodox Christian communities within the country’s religious and social justice spheres.
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