When and Why Moscow First Aligned Itself With the Russian Orthodox Church
Many people want to know when and why Moscow first aligned itself with the Russian orthodox church. There are a variety of reasons, ranging from the tsarist government to Nikita Khrushchev. In this article, we’ll explore each of them and discuss their relevance to modern Russia.
The relationship between the Russian tsar and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has undergone profound transformations over the past century. While a close relationship has always existed between state and church, it was only until the Soviet era that it grew increasingly strained. In 1721, Czar Peter I effectively made the ROC a branch of the government, with responsibilities including intelligence work and almshouses.
Until the fall of Communism, the ROC was a loyal servant of the Kremlin. According to KGB archives, the ROC answered directly to the KGB and staffed its hierarchy with loyal officers. After the fall of Communism, however, Orthodoxy began to experience a massive revival.
Russian tsarist government
During the Tsarist period, the ROC served as a state welfare organization. It also had intelligence responsibilities. After the 1917 Revolution, the church faced unrelenting state pressures. By 1939, the ROC had only about 200-300 parishes in the Soviet Union. However, the exigencies of the Second World War encouraged Stalin to ease up on the Church and allow the election of patriarch Sergius.
In 1645, the tsar Michael Romanov died and his son Alexis ascended to the throne. A new generation of reform-minded young priests believed that liturgical reform would bring spiritual revival to the country. They also believed that liturgical services should be celebrated in their entirety and not just parts of them. To implement the reforms, Tsar Alexis chose the Metropolitan of Novgorod, Nikon. The Metropolitan was known for his forceful and stringent leadership style.
The Soviet Union had a long history of conflict with the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1925, the Soviet government forbade patriarchal elections, so Metropolitan Sergius stepped into the role. In 1927, he issued an appeal to the faithful expressing his loyalty to the Soviet state and condemning political dissent within the Church. During this time, intellectuals, writers, and artists gravitated toward Eastern religions and nonconformist paths of spiritual searching, known as God-Seeking. They sought spiritual fulfillment in the East and were drawn to private prayer.
The Soviet Union was founded on the principle of a classless society. This meant that religion was a threat to the Soviet system. The Soviet government viewed the Russian Orthodox Church as “counter-revolutionary” and tried to eliminate it from its society.
The Russian Orthodox Church has historically been an important support for the Russian state. President Vladimir Putin has re-established the traditional relationship between the state and the church, making it the richest institution in the country. But that relationship was not always so harmonious. Despite the church’s importance, the state is still cautious about it. The relationship between Moscow and the Orthodox Church is largely for political purposes, such as gaining support from the Russian people.
However, the relationship between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church was strained during the Soviet era. During World War II, the church was able to represent traditional institutions in the country and rallied the people to support the war effort. After the war, the relationship between the state and the Russian Church deteriorated, but as the Soviet Union crumbled, the church was freed and re-established as a major force in Russian society.
Nikita Nemtsov’s death
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the death of former Russian deputy prime minister Nikita Nemtsov. A reformer, he was well-connected and allied with many of Russia’s richest oligarchs. However, in the 1990s, he came under fire for calling for Western intervention and sanctions against Russia. Nemtsov was also perceived as lacking faith in the Russian electorate.
The death of Russian politician Nikita Nemtsov has prompted an investigation into who killed him. According to a police source, an unidentified assailant shot him four times in the back as he walked on a bridge in front of the Kremlin. The shooter then fled the scene in a white car. In response, a Russian language news website Meduza said that several people had been involved.