Stalin re-established the Russian Orthodox Church in 1943. Why?


After the Bolshevik Coup of 1917, the Russian Orthodox church was forbidden and many cathedrals were ruined. But for some reason, almost a quarter of the century later, in the middle of World War 2, Stalin re-established it. The speed with which the election of a new patriarch was conducted, resembled a military operation – the planes were sent to bring the popes from different locations so that on September 4, 1943, Stalin could officially receive the Metropolitans: Sergius (Stragorodsky), Alexiy (Simansky), and Nicholas (Yarushevich). What was the reason for such a drastic change? Adriano Roccoccucci in his ‘A turning point in Stalin’s religious policy’ gives the following explanation: “This volte-face was due to the country’s postwar imperialistic expansion perspectives and new geopolitical horizons. Central to the new Church-State relationship were the inter-relations between the government and the patriarch via a new body set up by Stalin, the Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs. The State’s primary objective was… to foster the centralization of ecclesiastical structures around the patriarch and the patriarchate… Against this backdrop of religious revival, the Church took up the challenge of collaboration with the Soviet regime under the new terms set by Stalin. It engaged in a perilous task but could do no other than accept.” The following picture of the icon with Stalin on it taken in 2015 speaks louder than words that the current ‘Russian Orthodox Church” is about Stalinism and militarism and not Christianity. You may also want to read how initially ‘Russian Orthodox church’ was formed > UPDATE: Nov. 4, 2023 Ukraine charged Russian Orthodox Church’s head over promoting Kremlin’s aggression (Yahoo News Story)

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