Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union

Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union

The history of Orthodoxy Christianity (and other religions) in the Soviet Union was not limited to this story of repression and secularization. Communist policies toward religious belief and practice tended to vacillate over time between, on the one hand, a Utopian determination to substitute secular rationalism for what they considered to be an unmodern, "superstitious" world view and, on the other, pragmatic acceptance of the tenaciousness of religious faith and institutions. In any case, religious beliefs and practices did persist, in the domestic and private spheres but also in the scattered public spaces allowed by a state that recognized its failure to eradicate religion and the political dangers of an unrelenting culture war. [John Shelton Curtis, "The Russian Church and the Soviet State" (Boston: Little Brown, 1953); Jane Ellis, "The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History" (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986); Dimitry V. Pospielovsky, "The Russian Church Under the Soviet Regime 1917-1982" (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984); idem., "A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies" (New York; St. Martin’s Press, 1987); Glennys Young, P"ower and the Sacred in Revolutionary Russia: Religious Activists in the Village" (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997); Daniel Peris, "Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless" (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998); William B. Husband, "“Godless Communists”: Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia" (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2000; Edward Roslof, "Red Priests: Renovationism, Russian Orthodoxy, and Revolution, 1905-1946" (Bloomington, Indiana, 2002)] The result of this militant atheism was to transform the Church into a persecuted and martyred Church.

Russification

Before and after the October Revolution of November 7, 1917 (October 25 Old Calendar) there was a movement within the Soviet Union to unite all of the people of the world under Communist rule (see Communist International). This included the Eastern European bloc countries as well as the Balkan States. Since some of these Slavic states tied their ethnic heritage to their ethnic churches, both the peoples and their church where targeted by the Soviet and its form of State atheism. [President of Lithuania: Prisoner of the Gulag a Biography of Aleksandras Stulginskis by Afonsas Eidintas Genocide and Research Center of Lithuania ISBN 998675741X / 9789986757412 / 9986-757-41-X pg 23 "As early as August 1920 Lenin wrote to E. M. Skliansky, President of the Revolutionary War Soviet: "We are surrounded by the greens (we pack it to them), we will move only about 10-20 versty and we will choke by hand the bourgeoisie, the clergy and the landowners. There will be an award of 100,000 rubles for each one hanged." He was speaking about the future actions in the countries neighboring Russia.] [Christ Is Calling You: A Course in Catacomb Pastorship by Father George Calciu Published by Saint Hermans Press April 1997 ISBN-13: 978-1887904520 ] The Soviets' official religious stance was one of "religious freedom or tolerance", though the state established atheism as the only scientific truth (see also the Soviet or committee of the All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Scientific and Political Knowledge or Znanie which was until 1947 called the The League of the Militant Godless and various Intelligentsia groups). [Antireligioznik (The Antireligious, 1926-41), Derevenskii Bezbozhnik (The Godless Peasant, 1928-1932), and Yunye Bezbozhniki (The Young Godless, 1931-1933).] [History of the Orthodox Church in the History of Russian Dimitry Pospielovsky 1998 St Vladimir's Press ISBN 0-88141-179-5 pg 291] [A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies, Dimitry Pospielovsky Palgrave Macmillan (December, 1987) ISBN 0-312-38132-8] [Daniel Peris Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless Cornell University Press 1998 ISBN 9780801434853 ] [Christ Is Calling You : A Course in Catacomb Pastorship by Father George Calciu Published by Saint Hermans Press April 1997 ISBN-13: 978-1887904520 ]

Official Soviet stance

The Soviets' official religious stance was one of "religious freedom or tolerance", though the state established atheism as the only scientific truth. Daniel Peris "Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless" Cornell University Press 1998 ISBN 9780801434853] Criticism of atheism was strictly forbidden and sometimes lead to imprisonment. [Sermons to young people by Father George Calciu-Dumitreasa. Given at the Chapel of the Romanian Orthodox Church Seminary, The Word online. Bucharest http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/sermons/calciu_christ_calling.htm]

While religion was never outlawed in the Soviet Union and the Soviet Constitution actually guaranteed religious freedom to all Soviet citizens, persecution of Christians was still government policy. The persecutions were usually carried out for political rather than religious reasons and largely abated during World War II, at which time Stalin's government reached a truce with the Church in order to use it as part of its program to inspire Russian patriotic fervor. Nevertheless, the Soviet government sought to put the Church under control by appointing loyal men as priests, allegedly ending up with the entire upper ranks of the Church being officers of the KGB.

oviet tactics

The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed. Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals. [ Father Arseny 1893-1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi - 1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9] [The Washingotn Post Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page C09 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/25/AR2006112500783.html] Many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were also subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions (see Piteşti prison). [http://litek.ws/k0nsl/detox/anti-humans.htm Dumitru Bacu, "The Anti-Humans. Student Re-Education in Romanian Prisons] ", Soldiers of the Cross, Englewood, Colorado, 1971. Originally written in Romanian as "Piteşti, Centru de Reeducare Studenţească", Madrid, 1963] [Adrian Cioroianu, "Pe umerii lui Marx. O introducere în istoria comunismului românesc" ("On the Shoulders of Marx. An Incursion into the History of Romanian Communism"), Editura Curtea Veche, Bucharest, 2005] It is estimated the some 20 million Christians (18 million Orthodox, 2 million Roman Catholic) died or where interned in gulags under the Soviet regime 2.7 million martyred under Stalin. [ [http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstatv.htm#Martyrs Twentieth Century Atlas - Historical Body Count p.2 ] ]

Practicing Orthodox Christians were restricted from prominent careers and membership in communist organizations (the party, the Komsomol). Anti-religious propaganda was openly sponsored and encouraged by the government, which the Church was not given an opportunity to publicly respond to. The government youth organization, the Komsomol, encouraged its members to vandalize Orthodox Churches and harass worshipers. Seminaries were closed down, and the church was restricted from using the press.

Anti-religious campaigns

An intense ideological anti-Christian and anti-religious campaign was carried out throughout the history of the Soviet Union. An extensive education and propaganda campaign was undertaken to convince people, especially the children and youth, not to become believers. The role of the Christian religion and the Church was painted in black colors in school textbooks. For instance, much emphasis was placed on the role of the Church in such historical horror stories as the Inquisition, persecution of Galileo, Giordano Bruno, and other heretical scientists, and the Crusades. School students were encouraged to taunt and use peer pressure against classmates wearing crosses or otherwise professing their faith. In the 1920s there were many "anti-God" publications and social clubs sponsored by the government, most notably the scathingly satirical "Godless at the Workbench" ("Bezbozhnik u Stanka" in Russian). [ [http://www.dunlopartgallery.org/publications/page.cgi?key=75 Dunlop Art Gallery: Publications: Godless at the Workbench ] ] [ [http://www.smith.edu/museum/exhibitions/godlesscommunists/antireligious_periodicals.htm Godless Communists - Soviet Antireligious Propaganda - Smith College Museum of Art ] ] Later on, these disappeared because a new generation has grown up essentially atheist.Fact|date=February 2007

A "scientific" perspective was used to attack religion extensively. The Church was portrayed as obscurantist and opposed to the findings of science. Much was made of alleged Christian belief in the literal creation myth in the book of Genesis which the pro-Darwinian textbooks ridiculed.Fact|date=May 2007 As part of the anti-foreign and anti-capitalist propaganda, an effort was made, especially in the 1920s and 1930s, to imprint in the minds of the people an image of the West as dominated by the anti-scientific ignorance of the Church, as opposed to the scientifically "progressive" atheist Soviet state.Fact|date=February 2007

In general, Christianity was portrayed as corrupt, hypocritical, a loyal servant of the reactionary czar, obscurantist, "opium for the people" according to Karl Marx, and otherwise evil. However in spite of the Communist regimes attempts to stamp out Christianity in its lands the Church and Christianity actually flourished, as many Christians began to practice and preach their faith in secret, this movement was called the Underground Church, of which Ritchard Werembrant of Romania was a prominent member and preacher. The Underground Church still exists in Communist lands like China, North Korea, Vietnam etc. Many Christian believers in the Soviet Union have told of being imprisoned for no other reason than believing in God. Many have recently been canonized as saints following their death at the hands of Soviet authorities; they are collectively referred to in the Orthodox Church as the "new martyrs".

Bolshevik revolution

After the Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks undertook a massive program to remove the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the government and Russian society, and to make the state atheist.

The Soviets' official religious stance was one of "religious freedom or tolerance", though the state established atheism as the only scientific truth.Fact|date=April 2007 Criticism of atheism was strictly forbidden and could sometimes result in imprisonment. [Sermons to young people by Father George Calciu-Dumitreasa. Given at the Chapel of the Romanian Orthodox Church Seminary, The Word online. Bucharest http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/sermons/calciu_christ_calling.htm]

The Soviet Union was the first state to have the elimination of religion as an ideological objective. Toward that end, the Communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. Actions toward particular religions, however, were determined by State interests, and most organized religions were never outlawed.

In November 1917, following the collapse of the tsarist government, a council of the Russian Orthodox church reestablished the patriarchate and elected the metropolitan Tikhon as patriarch. But the new Soviet government soon declared the separation of church and state and nationalized all church-held lands. These administrative measures were followed by brutal state-sanctioned persecutions that included the wholesale destruction of churches and the arrest and execution of many clerics. The Russian Orthodox church was further weakened in 1922, when the Renovated Church, a reform movement supported by the Soviet government, seceded from Patriarch Tikhon's church, restored a Holy Synod to power, and brought division among clergy and faithful.

Interbellum persecution of the Church

Between 1917 and 1940, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. In 1918, the Cheka under Felix Dzerzhinsky executed over 3000 Orthodox clergymen of all ranks. Some were drowned in ice-holes or poured over with cold water in winter until they turned to ice-pillars. In 1922, the Solovki Camp of Special Purpose, the first Russian concentration camp was established in the Solovki Islands in the White Sea [http://www.solovki.ca/english/camp.php] . Eight metropolitans, twenty archbishops, and forty-seven bishops of the Orthodox Church died there, along with tens of thousands of the laity. Of these, 95,000 were put to death, executed by firing squad.Fact|date=April 2007 Father Pavel Florensky was one of the New-martyrs of this particular period.

In the first five years after the Bolshevik revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were executed. [Ostling, Richard. "Cross meets Kremlin" TIME Magazine. June 24, 2001. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,150718,00.html] This included people like the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna who was at this point a monastic. Along with her murder was Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov; the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley; Grand Duke Sergei's secretary, Fyodor Remez; and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess Elizabeth's convent. They were herded into the forest, pushed into an abandoned mineshaft and grenades were then hurled into the mineshaft. Her remains were buried in Jerusalem, in the Church of Maria Magdalene.

Some actions against Orthodox priests and believers along with execution included torture being sent to prison camps, labour camps or mental hospitals. [ Father Arseny 1893-1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi - 1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9] [The Washingotn Post Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa By Patricia Sullivan Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 26, 2006; Page C09 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/25/AR2006112500783.html] Many Orthodox (along with peoples of other faiths) were also subjected to psychological punishment or torture and mind control experimentation in order to force them give up their religious convictions (see Piteşti prison). [http://litek.ws/k0nsl/detox/anti-humans.htm Dumitru Bacu, "The Anti-Humans. Student Re-Education in Romanian Prisons] ", Soldiers of the Cross, Englewood, Colorado, 1971. Originally written in Romanian as "Piteşti, Centru de Reeducare Studenţească", Madrid, 1963] [Adrian Cioroianu, "Pe umerii lui Marx. O introducere în istoria comunismului românesc" ("On the Shoulders of Marx. An Incursion into the History of Romanian Communism"), Editura Curtea Veche, Bucharest, 2005]

Expropriation of church property

Thousands of churches were destroyed or converted to other uses, such as warehouses. Monasteries were closed and often converted to prison camps, most notably the Solovetz monastery becoming Solovki camp. Many members of clergy were imprisoned for anti-government activities. These victims are now recognized as the "New Martyrs" by the Russian Orthodox Church, the old martyrs being the victims of the Roman persecutions. Church property, including the icons and other objects of worship (especially those made of precious metals) was confiscated and put to other uses.

The construction of new churches was forbidden.

Discrimination against Christians

Practising Orthodox Christians were restricted from prominent careers and membership in communist organizations (the party, the Komsomol). Anti-religious propaganda was openly sponsored and encouraged by the government, which the Church was not given an opportunity to publicly respond to. The government youth organization, the Komsomol, encouraged its members to vandalize Orthodox Churches and harass worshipers. Seminaries were closed down, and the church was restricted from using the press.

Anti-religious campaign of the 1920s and 1930s

The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the celebration of Christmas and the traditional Russian holiday of New Year (Feast of the Circumcision of Christ) was prohibited (later on New Year was reinstated as a secular holiday and is now the most significant family holiday in Russia). Gatherings and religious processions were initially prohibited and later on strictly limited and regulated. In later years, a more subtle method of disrupting Christian holidays involved broadcasting very popular movies one after the other on the major holidays when believers are expected to participate in religious processions, especially during the Easter celebration. Apparently, this was intended to keep those whose faith was uncertain or wavering in their homes and glued to their TVs.Fact|date=February 2007

The sixth sector of the OGPU, led by Eugene Tuchkov, began aggressively arresting and executing bishops, priests, and devout worshipers, such as Metropolitan Veniamin in Petrograd in 1922 for refusing to accede to the demand to hand in church valuables (including sacred relics). In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to less than 500. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. Of these, 95,000 were put to death, executed by firing squad.Fact|date=April 2007 Many thousands of victims of persecution became recognized in a special canon of saints known as the "new martyrs and confessors of Russia".

Patriarch Tikhon

Patriarch Tikhon anathematized the communist government, which further antagonized relations. When Tikhon died in 1925, the Soviet authorities forbade patriarchal elections to be held. Patriarchal "locum tenens" (acting Patriarch) Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky, 1887-1944), going against the opinion of a major part of the church's parishes, in 1927 issued a declaration accepting the Soviet authority over the church as legitimate, pledging the church's cooperation with the government and condemning political dissent within the church. By this he granted himself with the power that he, being a deputy of imprisoned Metropolitan Peter and acting against his will, had no right to assume according to the XXXIV Apostolic canon, which led to a split with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia abroad and the Russian True Orthodox Church (Russian Catacomb Church) within the Soviet Union, as they remained faithful to the Canons of the Apostles, declaring the part of the church led by Metropolitan Sergius schism, sometimes coined as "sergianism". Due to this canonical disagreement it is disputed which church has been the legitimate successor to the Russian Orthodox Church that had existed before 1925. [http://www.ipc.od.ua/14spravka.html] [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/cat_tal.aspx] [http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/meylavrinsa.html] [http://catacomb.org.ua/modules.php?name=Pages&go=page&pid=1099]

Metropolitan Sergius

In 1927, in order to secure the survival of the church, Metropolitan Sergius formally expressed his "loyalty" to the Soviet government and henceforth refrained from criticizing the state in any way. This attitude of loyalty, however, provoked more divisions in the church itself: inside Russia, a number of faithful opposed Sergius, and abroad, the Russian metropolitans of America and western Europe severed their relations with Moscow.

World War II rapprochement

After Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. On September 41943, Metropolitans Sergius (Stragorodsky), Alexius (Simansky) and Nikolay (Yarushevich) were officially received by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin who proposed to create the Moscow Patriarchate. They received a permission to convene a council on September 81943, that elected Sergius Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. This is considered by some violation of the XXX Apostolic canon, as no church hierarch could be consecrated by secular authorities. [http://www.ipc.od.ua/14spravka.html] A new patriarch was elected, theological schools were opened, and thousands of churches began to function. The Moscow Theological Academy Seminary, which had been closed since 1918, was re-opened.

Postwar era

Between 1945 and 1959 the official organization of the church was greatly expanded, although individual members of the clergy were occasionally arrested and exiled. The number of open churches reached 25,000. By 1957 about 22,000 Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches. By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. It is estimated that 50,000 clergy were executed by the end of the Kruschev era. [Ostling, Richard. "Cross meets Kremlin" TIME Magazine. June 24, 2001. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,150718,00.html] Members of the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and its clergy became one of the victims of Soviet authorities in immediate postwar time. In 1945 Soviet authorities arrested, deported and sentenced to forced labor camps in Siberia and elsewhere the church's metropolitan Josyf Slipyj and nine bishops, as well as hundreds of clergy and leading lay activists. All the above-mentioned bishops and significant part of clergymen died in prisons, concentration camps, internal exile, or soon after their release during the post-Stalin thaw [http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/major.religions/greek.catholic/historical.survey/ The Ukrainian Greek Catholics: A Historical Survey, RISU] ] . The exception was metropolitan Josyf Slipyj who, after 18 years of imprisonment and persecution, was released thanks to the intervention of Pope John XXIII, arrived in Rome, where he received the title of Major Archbishop of Lviv, and became cardinal in 1965 [http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/major.religions/greek.catholic/historical.survey/ The Ukrainian Greek Catholics: A Historical Survey, RISU] ] .

Protestant believers in the USSR (baptists, pentecostals, adventists etc.) in the period after the Second world war were compulsively sent to mental hospitals, endured trials and prisons (often for refusal to enter military service). Some were even compulsively deprived of their parent rights. [http://www.memo.ru/history/DISS/books/ALEXEEWA/CHAPTER13.HTM Book of L.Alexeeva, Memorial Page, Russian] ]

Persecution under Khrushchev and Brezhnev

A new and widespread persecution of the church was subsequently instituted under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. A second round of repression, harassment and church closures took place between 1959 and 1964 during the rule of Nikita Khrushchev. By 1987 the number of functioning churches in the Soviet Union had fallen to 6893 and the number of functioning monasteries to just 18.

In the Soviet Union, in addition to the methodical closing and destruction of churches, the charitable and social work formerly done by ecclesiastical authorities was taken over by the state. As with all private property, Church owned property was confiscated into public use. The few places of worship left to the Church were legally viewed as state property which the government permitted the church to use. After the advent of state funded universal education, the Church was not permitted to carry on educational, instructional activity of any kind. Outside of sermons during the celebration of the divine liturgy it could not instruct or evangelize to the faithful or its youth. Catechism classes, religious schools, study groups, Sunday schools and religious publications were all illegal and or banned. This persecution continued, even after the death of Stalin until the Fall of Communism in 1991. This caused many religious tracts to be circulated as illegal literature or samizdat. [ Father Arseny 1893-1973 Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Introduction pg. vi - 1. St Vladimir's Seminary Press ISBN 0-88141-180-9]

The Church and the government remained on unfriendly terms until 1988. In practice, the most important aspect of this conflict was that openly religious people could not join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which meant that they could not hold any political office. However, among the general population, large numbers remained religious. In 1987 in the Russian SFSR, between 40% and 50% of newborn babies (depending on the region) were baptized and over 60% of all deceased received Christian funeral services.

Penetration of Churches by Soviet secret services

According to Mitrokhin Archive and other sources, the Moscow Patriarchate has been established on the order from Stalin in 1943 as a front organization of NKVD and later the KGB [ Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin (1999) "The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West." Allen Lane. ISBN 0-713-99358-8., pages 634-661] All key positions in the Church including bishops have been approved by the Ideological Department of CPSU and by the KGB. The priests were used as agents of influence in the World Council of Churches and front organizations, such as World Peace Council, Cristian Peace Conference, and the "Rodina" ("Motherland") Society founded by the KGB in 1975. The future Russian Patriarch Alexius II said that "Rodina" has been created to "maintain spiritual ties with our compatriots" as one of its leading organizers. According to the archive and other sources, Alexius has been working for the KGB as agent DROZDOV and received an honorary citation from the agency for a variety of services [ The vice-president of "Rodina" was P.I. Vasilyev, a senior officer of First Chief Directorate of the KGB. (KGB in Europe, page 650.)] . Priests have also recruited intelligence agents abroad and spied on Russian emigrant communities. This information by Mitrokhin has been corroborated by other sources. [According to Konstanin Khrachev, former chairman of Soviet Council on Religious Affairs, "Not a single candidate for the office of bishop or any other high-ranking office, much less a member of Holy Synod, went through without confirmation by the Central Committee of the CPSU and the KGB". Cited from Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. "The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia - Past, Present, and Future". 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5, page 46. ] [ [http://cicentre.com/Documents/putin_espionage_church.html Putin's Espionage Church] , an excerpt from forthcoming book, "Russian Americans: A New KGB Asset" by Konstantin Preobrazhensky]

Glasnost

Beginning in the late 1980s, under Mikhail Gorbachev, the new political and social freedoms resulted in many church buildings being returned to the church, to be restored by local parishioners. A pivotal point in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church came in 1988 - the millennial anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus'. Throughout the summer of that year, major government-supported celebrations took place in Moscow and other cities; many older churches and some monasteries were reopened. An implicit ban on religious expression on state TV was finally lifted. For the first time in the history of the Soviet Union, people could see live transmissions of church services on television.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the government of Russia openly embraced the Russian Orthodox Church, and there was a renaissance in the number of the faithful in Russia.

ee also

*History of the Russian Orthodox Church
*Gleb Yakunin
*Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
*Josyf Slipyj
*Museum of Soviet occupation

References


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