WATCH: Fleeing Forced Vaccinations, Popular European Journalist Considers Moving to Russia

"If you want to escape mandatory vaccines, go to Russia," says Iben Thranholm, one of western Europe's top journalists. In her home country of Denmark, the Draconian government has already passed a law to force vaccinations on unwilling citizens.

In this video, Thranholm interviews Fr. Joseph Gleason, an American priest who moved to Russia with his family over three years ago. They discuss Russia's widespread mistrust of vaccines, and the reasons why mandatory vaccinations are unlikely to occur there.

"You might fully believe in vaccines, you might fully believe in medicine, and you still don't want that atheist with the syringe to come anywhere near you . . ."

Iben Thranholm

In Denmark, the socialdemocratic government has already passed law that allows the state to force vaccines for COVID-19 on its citizens. Iben Thranholm, journalist, is trying to sort out where she go to avoid it. Russia seems to be the place.

In Russia, half the population — and especially Russian Orthodox Christians — are very skeptical of vaccines. For this reason, President Putin and the Duma are very unlikely to push for mandatory vaccines, says Fr. Joseph Gleason, American Orthodox priest in Russia and editor of Russian Faith. Full video and transcript included below.


Hi everyone! You might be worried that your country is going to introduce forced vaccines, because a lot of people are talking about that — a lot of politicians are talking about that right now.

And I am very worried about that, because my country — Denmark — has already introduced or passed a law that allows the government to force vaccines on Danish citizens, as soon as we get a vaccine. And I'm really not in favor of that — I'm quite alarmed about that!

It's definitely not something we're used to in the Danish society. It's a huge change, that the government suddenly can decide over our bodies. So I'm trying now to think about which country I could go to, to escape forced vaccines. Would there be any country in the world where you could be free of mandatory vaccines? That's the big question.

So I'm starting to wonder: Where could I go, if or when the borders are going to be reopened? Because now the Danish borders are closed. So, I was thinking, maybe I could go to Russia!

And for the last couple of years I have been doing a lot of reporting in Russia, about how Russia is now becoming a Christian culture after the collapse of communism, and I have written a lot about how I see that the west and Russia are now swapping roles, so that Russia is becoming a free Christian culture, whereas the the Western culture is becoming more and more secular, more and more totalitarian, and where we are introducing all those strict Draconian measures.

So I'm wondering whether — if I want to escape forced vaccines — I should go to Russia. And that's why I have called my friend in Russia, Joseph Gleason. Joseph, can you hear me?

Yes! How are you doing, Iben?

Hi! Hello Joseph! How are you doing in Russia today?

Doing great!

Well, you are an American, you are an Orthodox priest. You are serving as an Orthodox priest in the Russian Orthodox Church. You live a three-hour drive away from Moscow now. But three years ago, you moved with your family — you have eight children — and you moved to Russia from America.

So before we're going to talk about whether Russia will introduce forced vaccines or not, please tell us, why did you make this decision to move to Russia?

Well, I'm a Christian husband and father first of all, before becoming a priest. My wife and I have eight children, and we have homeschooled them from the time they were little. We pray with them daily, we read scriptures with them daily, we take them to church regularly, and far more important than career or any other concern, I want to see myself and my wife and my children go to heaven. That's the primary concern. And the moral deterioration in America on many different levels had just been concerning to my wife and to me for many years.

And I don't have any Russian background. I didn't know any of the Russian language. I actually looked at a bunch of different countries — I considered Chile, I considered Serbia, I considered Greece, I considered a lot of places — and I said if things get bad enough that we feel that we do need to relocate, I want a place where homeschooling is legal; I want a place where the Orthodox Christian faith is strong, is growing, is welcomed. And we found that here! Things had just gotten to the point that we were really looking at other options.

And the straw that broke the camel's back, or really the big log that broke the camel's back, was five years ago — the whole Supreme Court decision in America, legalizing this lie of so-called homosexual "marriage". I just knew that was the point at which — if America and the West do not repent of this abomination — disaster will fall. Judgment will come. And I don't want to be around to see that.

So after that particular Supreme Court case took place, we stopped just looking and thinking about it, and my wife and eight kids and I actually moved here to Russia, a little over three years ago.

Yes, and you also run a website called, where you are describing how Russian culture is becoming more and more Orthodox Christian. So if people want to go and look it out, you can go to, and there will be a lot of interesting articles about how Russia is changing to become a Christian culture.

But let me ask you: If I want to escape forced vaccines in my home country Denmark — and I know that a lot of other countries in the Western world are now discussing whether they should introduce forced vaccines to prevent people from contracting the Coronavirus — do you think that if I go to Russia I can escape this?

Absolutely. I think — you know, in my family we don't vaccinate — I think vaccinations should be legal. They should be available for those who want them. But in our family, we don't vaccinate ourselves or our children. And Russia is a place where you can live that way and feel very comfortable doing so.

Just a couple of years ago this one particular group did a very extensive worldwide poll of over a hundred thousand people in multiple nations around the world, and found that on average — in America and in much of North and Western Europe — approximately 72 to 73 percent of people believe that vaccines are safe. So selling the public on it in those countries is not terribly difficult.

in Russia, however, it's one of the lowest in the world — only 48% of people in Russia!

This is the world's largest nation in land, and in people it's over 140 million people. Well, only 48 percent — less than half of Russians — believe that vaccines are safe. So you literally have tens of millions of people that, you know, they don't try to make them illegal, they don't try to push against them; they just say, "We're not interested. We don't want to do that."

But what does the government say — what does President Putin say about it? Because I looked in the news to see if he had said anything about the vaccines, but so far I haven't found anything on this topic.

Well, they have them here. Their science here is top in the world. They are certainly developing various vaccines here in Russia, but vaccination is not mandatory in Russia, from a governmental legal standpoint.

I will say, the public schools in Russia do strongly push them. They really want to see all the children in the public schools vaccinated. But even there, it's not enforced. Just maybe a twenty-minute drive from my house here where I live, there's a public school, and over half of the kids in that school are not vaccinated. A lot of the parents, especially in this part of Russia where I live, just don't do that.

Why shouldn't the government in Russia not want to force vaccines on people, to prevent the spread of the COVID-19? 

Well, certain people certainly do. I mean, just as it is in every country, there are people in the government, people in the legislature, that bring this up from time to time, and it is debated, and you'll see it in the news.

So about a year ago, I saw on the news that some of the members of the Russian Duma were at least thinking about it. "Should we mandate vaccines? Should we should we force the issue?" Because they know that there are millions of Russians that are opposed to it. But it just doesn't happen.

The reason it doesn't happen? I think there are multiple reasons. First of all, they recognize that even if some people can take a vaccine and be safe, there are some people that are extremely sensitive. I personally have friends who have been vaccine injured. And it's not some conspiracy theory. It's not some myth. There are a lot of people that have experienced injuries because of vaccines. It has been medically documented. I know some of the people personally. And it's acknowledged here in Russia as well.

So if you're one of those people, or if you're closely related — say, your mom or your dad was vaccine injured, and you have similar genetics — it's understandable that you might even be pro-vaccine, you might advocate it for your friends and for your neighbors, but for yourself, for your own children, you might say it's not worth the risk.

And so to mandate that everybody do it without exception, would be to to mandate at least a certain minority to injure themselves, and that's just not morally right.

But how would the the Russian people react? Let's say that the government in Russia would say, "Okay, we want to force the vaccines on everybody, because we think this is the best for everybody, for the whole country."

How would the Russians react then?

Well, my first response would be to point out the reaction just when it's debated, when it's even talked about. You know, millions of people rise up. There are huge discussions online. People complain about about it whenever any legislator even brings up the idea. So there's already a heavy response just up front, when it's even talked about.

Second, unlike in America where churches are splintered and fragmented, in Russia the vast majority of the population is Russian Orthodox Christian, and so the Russian Orthodox Church has very powerful clout politically.

And the Patriarch — Patriarch Kirill — his Commission for the Family about a year or so ago put out an official document, saying that the Church is opposed to any kind of forced vaccinations, to any kind of mandated vaccinations.

They are not saying vaccinations are bad. They're not telling people not to do it. They're just saying it should be a personal choice, that people have a right to decide whether somebody is going to inject something into your body.

And so, you know, Putin himself has been such a great supporter of the growth of the Orthodox Church in Russia for the past two decades, and [it's hard] to imagine that he would want to do something which would be just totally counter and opposed to what the Patriarch himself is pushing, and to what the majority of Russians [want].

Does Putin want 70 million Russians angry at him? No! He is liked by most Russians, and he wants to continue being liked. I don't think that he or the majority of the legislature would would even legalize something like this that would infuriate over half the nation, and the Orthodox Church to boot.

However, you asked, "What if?" In the unlikely event that somehow they managed to push some sort of a mandate through, how would the Russian people respond? I'm not gonna give any specific details, online in public. But I would just say — just living here, talking to people, hearing people's experiences — in general, Russians know which Russian laws the legislators are serious, about and that the president is serious about enforcing. 

And that handful of laws, okay — You don't drink [while driving] in a car. Zero tolerance for that. If somebody is visiting here on a visa, you don't stay one day past your visa or you're going to be deported. That's just the way it is. — so there are certain laws that are very firm. But just in general, people find ways around silly laws. And every country has silly laws. Russia is no exception.

There's even a famous writer, Saltykov-Shchedrin, that a couple hundred years ago — now, I'll paraphrase — he said that the vast labyrinth of Russian law is only made tolerable by the incredible laxity within which it is enforced. And really Russia has not changed in that way, as far as I can tell. In the unlikely event that some sort of law were to be passed like that, people would simply find a way around it. They would find some way, with the help of a sympathetic Christian doctor, to get their hands on a piece of paper saying that they've complied with whatever that particular mandate is, whether they actually complied or not. I can't predict for sure. I can't see the future. But I think that's what they would do. But honestly, I don't think that's ever going to be necessary, because the majority of Russians are so opposed to that type of thing anyway, and the Russian Orthodox Church has gone on record, publicly saying they're opposed to it.

I absolutely think vaccines will be developed here. They will be made widely available. They're not going to be forced.

But the reasons why so many Russians are against it, and especially Russian Orthodox Christians, is that only for health reasons? Or are there any kind of more existential or even spiritual reasons for being against the vaccines?

Well, to speak for myself, and to speak for a lot of people that I've talked with — Yes, there are some people out there who think that all that vaccines are bad, they're all dangerous — I don't think that, not of not all my friends think that, but frankly I don't trust a lot of the world personas who are pushing vaccines, you know, the people at the top levels who are pushing them — I don't trust them.

So, just to give an analogy, let's say you are in some prison camp, in some communist country 50 years ago, and some atheist comes to you with a needle full of stuff. You might fully believe in vaccines, you might fully believe in medicine, and you still don't want that atheist with the syringe to come anywhere near you. That's the way I feel about a lot — not all — but that's the way I feel about a lot of the people that run this.

One name that comes to mind — who do they look at as their hero? Those that are really heavily pushing, not just the availability of vaccines, but the force of them, the mandate of them — Frequently they talk about, not only Jenner back in the years, but within the past generation, Dr. Jonas Salk. I'm sure you've heard of him. He's considered the modern father of vaccines. He helped develop the polio vaccine, and people honor him, they praise him, they say, "Oh, you know, he saved so many thousands of lives. We need to honor him. He's the person that we want to be like. He's the person we want to follow."

He actually he wrote a book. He didn't hide it, he didn't push it away somewhere, he actually publicly wrote a book — I actually have a copy of it — and I wanted to talk about it just briefly. It's called, "The Survival of the Wisest".

Now, a lot of people I talked to have actually not heard about this book. Everybody knows about Dr. Jonas Salk, but they don't know he wrote this book. In this book, in a nutshell, he says that he believes in evolution. He believes that human beings are on the verge of this next stage of evolution — [this] is what he says — and he thinks that it's moved from a physical sort of thing where the stronger and the faster — the "fittest" — survive, and now it's gonna be the survival of the wisest. So only the "wise" are gonna survive. The "foolish" are going to die off or be killed off forcibly. And it's important to see — how does he define "wise"?

Well, he says in his book that the "wise" are those who give up the old superstitions, the old religions, the old, conservative, traditional ways of thinking. He says,

"Eventually, the struggle in the human domain will be between the wise and the nonwise. This implies that those who lead others in ways that are anti-evolutionary, or that are counter to the natural process of becoming of the BEING, will either be replaced by others possessing wisdom akin to that of Nature, to guide men toward survival with greater satisfaction and fulfillment, or lead Man to disaster" (The Survival of the Wisest, pp. 71-72).

So, in other words, if you don't agree with his view of evolution, and with his view of evolutionary progress, then you're among the non-wise, and you're going to be among those that need to die off. And elsewhere he talks about the human cost. he says,

"It is likely that the cost in human life of such changes will be considerable" (The Survival of the Wisest, p. 66).

So here you have somebody that not only is the modern father of vaccines, you have the same person publish a book — put it in print — where he says, if you're opposed to abortion, if you hold to traditional Christianity, traditional religious faith, if you are opposed in any way to the idea of evolution, you need to be among those that that die. You need to be among those that are killed off.

And he doesn't go this far, but for me it's easy to put two and two together and just say, "Okay, the same person who wants to see billions of people die off so that we can evolve further as humans — this is the same person who I want to let inject me with a syringe full of something? I don't think so."

But we are being told that vaccines would save lives. But now you're actually suggesting that vaccines could kill us, and that is the whole idea? Is that what you're saying?

Well, if I were the if I were the one suggesting it, I'd be called crazy. And I'm sure I'll be called crazy anyway. But let's look at what they are saying. So here the father the modern father of vaccinations is saying that he wants to see a large portion of the human race die off, because it will further evolution. He's also one who advocates vaccines.

Yeah, so you have to put two and two together.

Yeah, if he wanted to use it he could, but let's go further than that. Who's one of the current people that are just very loud and proud and out front, pushing not only the availability but the force of vaccines? It's Bill Gates. Now, he's not even a medical doctor. He's not an immunologist. He's a computer nerd. He's a computer geek — some guy that was stuck in front of his PC years ago, in the right place at the right time, and he made billions of dollars on software that is okay in some ways, but a lot of people think it's junk (but that's not the point). Now that he has all this money, suddenly somehow he is this medical "expert", pushing vaccines, vaccines, vaccines worldwide.

And recently he himself — this wasn't me, this is Bill Gates himself, on the internet, on video, saying — he did this whole presentation, and he said that for the survival of the planet, for the survival of the human race, that we need to radically reduce the human population on earth.

Now, that doesn't take a lot of math to figure out — reducing the human population on earth — for that to happen, billions of people are going to have to die. And he actually said in his presentation, that one of the things that will help bring about this lowering of Earth's population is vaccines.

Now, to me, that's counterintuitive to the max, because vaccines are supposed to prolong life. They're supposed to save life. They're supposed to stop people from dying. And yet here's Bill Gates going in public saying that he wants to use vaccines to help reduce the world population. I don't know what to say about that, other than, "I don't want to be one of his guinea pigs."

And now with the Coronavirus raging worldwide, he has — again, these are his words not mine — Bill Gates has put a video out with himself on it, himself speaking, and he said that we are simply not going to be able to emerge from this catastrophe and this lockdown, until every man, woman, and child on the planet — everybody worldwide in every country — is vaccinated.

[NOTE: I am not claiming that Salk intentionally killed anyone, and I am not claiming that Bill Gates will necessarily create a dangerous vaccine. He may, or he may not. My point is simply that you cannot trust people who want to reduce earth's population. If they themselves don't use drastic measures to wipe people off the face of the earth, then their followers may not be so scrupulous. And if someone in power did decide to kill many people, widespread tainted vaccinations would be one possible way to accomplish such a goal. Will Bill Gates himself try to do such a thing? I have no idea. But I don't want to take the risk to find out, because I don't trust him.]

Salk wants to see depopulation, Bill Gates wants to see depopulation, and they're the ones that are pushing for forced vaccines.

So, is this a warning that a big holocaust is coming on humankind with these vaccines?

Only if man continues to do what man has always done. There were wars, there were fights in the past. But whenever you got godless men in power, and people would die. And all of the bloodshed, and all of the wars for the first nineteen hundred years after Christ, were only a drop in the bucket compared to what we've seen in the past century, when governments have become secular, when governments have cast off God, when you've had atheists in power.

Yes, there were thousands, even tens of thousands of deaths in the wars that raged across Europe in the Middle Ages, but that didn't even come close to touching the tens of millions and hundreds of millions of deaths that have come about through totalitarian communist governments like the USSR, China, and smaller regions as well.

You put tyrants, you put atheists in power, [and] people die by the millions. And so you take this same kind of ideology, this same kind of totalitarian mentality — the same type of people put in power in America, or in Denmark, or anywhere in Europe, or anywhere in the world — they're going to do the same kind of things.

So, is Russia a hope for humanity now? When we see that there is a revival of Christian culture and Christian faith in Russia, is that the country we have to look to for some kind of hope in these troubled times?

I unequivocally will say, it absolutely is! Russia — not because it's Russia, but because it welcomes traditional Orthodox Christianity — Russia is the safe place to go in the world now. It's not perfect. There are problems here, just like there are everywhere. I'm not saying it's heaven. But it's a suburb of heaven. It's a place you can go and practice the Faith, and live your life, and raise your children to be Christian, and and be allowed to do it without a lot of grief.

And I put my money where my mouth is. If I was just some internet blogger out there, you know, living in my mom's basement, drinking my weight in coca-cola and eating pizza, and blogging opinions online about how wonderful Russia is, while I'm actually living in Illinois or New Jersey, it would be meaningless.

I put my money where my mouth is. I left a six-figure computer job in America. My wife and I left living close to family. We took our eight children, we sold our house, we flew thousands of miles across an ocean, and we moved here, where we didn't know the language. We're not related to anybody [in Russia]. I would say that's evidence that I believe what I'm talking about. This is where I want my children to grow up. This is where the Christian faith is strong and growing by leaps and bounds.

You know, in Western Europe you can find lots of ancient cathedrals, and they're amazing, and they're impressive. And then you walk inside, and there's like five people there, you know? There's the priest, there's a couple of people chanting, two or three people standing, and you say, "What happened? There used to be thousands of people in here!" People don't care. They've forgotten God.

Well, in Russia, they've got tons of cathedrals that are packed full of people. You come over here in Russia — they have built over 30,000 new churches in the past thirty years! Now, you do the math. That's three new churches built every day.

It's amazing!

It's a world record. It's never been done before in the history of this planet. It's unprecedented.

Russia really is the salmon swimming upstream. You have all these other countries that are embracing sodomite "marriage", homosexual "marriages", and "transgender" nonsense. In Russia, they have a national law passed that prohibits homosexual propaganda to minors. That's one of the reasons I love Russia!

You know, there was that horrible punk-rock group that dared to go into a Christian cathedral in Moscow a few years ago, and loudly and profanely protest and interrupt a church service and everything. They were arrested and put in jail. That's one of the reasons why I love Russia!

This is where I want to live — someplace that instead of fight against the church, they are going to defend it. Instead of laugh at traditional Christian values, they actually pass laws that protect it. I love it here!

But do you think that Russia will continue to go against the stream? Because, I'm a little bit concerned that if the whole world now is going into a completely new kind of restructuring of the political and social order, with social distancing, and vaccines, and all the rest of it, that we are already living now with closed borders, and we can't gather, and our constitutional rights have been taken away from us, do you think that Russia has the strength as the only nation in the world to go up against that kind of evil? That's what I'm puzzled about — whether they can continue to go against the stream.

I don't think Russia by itself — considered alone — does, because just considered by itself, it's just another country. But I believe the church does. You know, the church is so powerful, it's growing by leaps and bounds. And I'm not just talking about "in name only" Christians that show up to church once a year. I'm talking about millions and millions of people that faithfully attend regularly as well.

The church is growing, faithfulness is growing, people are being baptized, people are joining the church, or being born into it and being raised in devout ways. The growth in the church that I see here, and the life that I've seen in the church here — and I walk into multiple churches, and I don't just see a few old ladies and old men in the back; I see middle-aged men and women, I see teenagers, I see babies, I see every age. As they say, "If your church is not crying, it's dying." Well, in Russia, it's not dying. It's growing.

And it's not only Russia, but any country in which that happens, any country in which the people massively repent and return to the traditional Christian faith, that country is going to do just fine. That country will survive. That country will be a safe place to be. And that's what's happening here.

So it's not the colors of the Russian flag, or the patriotism of the Russian people — it's the Faith — it's the faith of the Russian people. And as long as that stays strong, as long as that continues to grow, the nation itself is going to be OK too.

Well, what a wonderful conclusion, that it's all about the Faith! It's not about politics in the end. Because, I think a lot of people here in the West, they're really very — I have a lot of expectations that they just want to elect the "right" politician, and then somebody should "fix it", and they have forgotten about the Faith — that it's actually the Faith that will conquer or defeat this evil, and not politics. Do you agree in that?

Well, I think that's true. I would word it only slightly differently, because ultimately, politics and faith are not polar opposites. You know, we've been trained to believe that in the West — this whole idea of "separation of church and state", of your "secular life" versus "private faith life", but for most of human history, that was unthinkable, that was a ridiculous idea.

You know, Jesus didn't say, "Live as if God doesn't matter, but then when you're at home alone, believe whatever you want about me." No. Jesus wants faith to be lived out in the political arena. He said, you know, when He taught us the Lord's Prayer — What does the Lord's Prayer say? "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

That's true.

We are supposed to do God's will on earth. That includes the president, that includes people that are in the legislature, that includes journalists and reporters and bloggers. No matter what your position is, even if it's a political position, if you're going to be a Christian, you need to be a Christian a hundred percent of the time. Because, this dichotomy between politics and faith — it's a false dichotomy. Because, ultimately, getting rid of faith — pushing God out of the public arena — that's how totalitarian nations control people.

And that's why they always persecute the Church and try to shut it down.

Exactly! Because, here's the thing — If people believe that the only thing that exists is this life, just here and now, you live a few years, you eat, you drink, you marry, you have children, you grow old, you die, and that's it — if this is all we have to live for, then people are willing to desperately grab at anything just to get a few more years out of life, even if that means submitting to a totalitarian dictatorship. "Please, just protect us from death! Do anything to save us from death. We'll give up all of our freedoms, just so we can maybe live a few extra years."

So as long as people are addicted to their Roman "bread and circuses", materialism and pleasures, as long as people are that terrified of death, they're super easy to control. The government can order them to do almost anything, and people will do it.

But if you have a Christian people, if you have a traditional Christian people that actually believe that the Son of God died, and then walked out of his own grave three days later, and that he didn't just do that for himself, but that he promises that to millions and millions of us — that we, too, one day are going to walk out of our own graves, and live and spend eternity in heaven — then in the big scheme of things, even 70 or 80 years on this planet right now is like a puff of smoke. It's a drop in the bucket. And so I get threatened with death. "Oh, my! I might die of Coronavirus. — So?" "Oh, my! I might get shot. — So?" "I might get locked in prison. I might die . . ." You know what? We're all gonna die of something. The point is whether you get over it! Whether you get past it, and get better afterwards.

And the atheistic governments want to tell us, "No, there's nothing after death. This life is all you have. And you've got to come to us for any crumbs that we want to give you." But governments know — including atheistic governments — they know that if the mass of people believe in Christ, and they believe in life after death, they believe in heaven and hell, and judgment and resurrection, you can't control those people! You cannot have totalitarian control over a mass of people that believe that way. It just doesn't work. And that's the reason why godless governments want to get rid of godly people.

Thank you so much Joseph, that you gave me so much hope that there is still a nation in this world that has not gone completely crazy, trying to enforce all these restrictions on us, and in the future maybe even forcing vaccines on us. So, thank you so much for making my day, giving me some hope!

And as I mentioned in the beginning, you are the editor of a website called Russian Faith. And I would strongly encourage my viewers to go and have a look at that site, because there are many interesting articles about the development in Russia, and the Christian culture in Russia, and the Russian Orthodox Church, and even politics. So, it's a very good website, and I really hope that a lot of people would go and take a look at it.

And I hope you move here, because it would be really cool to be neighbors!

Yes I would love to move to Russia, if I get a chance. But first of all, my country has to reopen the borders.


And last night our Prime Minister said that maybe around June the first she will give some kind of announcement about what's happening with the borders. So we have to wait another month.

So at the end of May, pack your bags!

Yeah! You know, at least it's good to know that I have friends like you in Russia! And thank you so much for for sharing your thoughts with us. I wish you a beautiful and blessed day!

Thank you so much. God bless! 

God bless! And thanks to all my viewers. See you again soon!

Iben Thranholm

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