Originally connected with the idea of Moscow as the Third Rome and the universal Christian idea of an Empire of Faith, Holy Rus (literally ‘Holy Russia’) has developed today into a transcendental concept of a unifying national force and inter-confessional dialogue based on common moral and spiritual values. The discourse of Russia’s civilizational identity has emerged with new vigor against a background of national and social disintegration. The idea promoted by the state and the Russian Orthodox Church is that Orthodoxy as a quintessence of fundamental moral values is destined to unite the peoples separated by state borders under the auspices of Holy Rus. The core of the civilizational perception is constituted by the supranational nature of Russkiy Mir (literally ‘Russian World’) based on the idea of sobornost. The research is based on the analysis of speeches delivered by President Putin and Patriarch Cyril dedicated to identity issues. The author argues that this official rhetoric is aimed at redefining the place of the Russian Orthodox Church vis-à-vis both Western modernity and domestic secularism within the context of its recovery as an institution after decades of oppression. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.