Bishop VALERIAN D. TRIFA : ” THE ORTHODOX CHURCH TODAY – 1964 „
The downfall of the Czarist regime in Russia, in 1917, provoked a spontaneous movement to restore the Patriarchate. A Sobor of Bishops elected a Patriarch in the person of Tikhon and abolished the „Holy Governing Synod“ of the Czars. However, this could not bring the Patriarchate to its old glory, because one year later, the Soviet regime took over, and one of the first acts of the new government was to enact legislation separating the Church from the State and proclaiming the atheistic policy of the new regime. Ecclesiastical properties were nationalized, clergy were deprived of livelihood, churches were closed, teaching of religion was prohibited and Patriarch Tikhon was arrested. From now, the greatest persecution against the Orthodox Church in modern times began. The powerful Communist party in Russia set as its goal the liquidation of religions, and particularly, the Orthodox Church. For twenty years, the Russian Orthodox Church suffered martyrdom.
In spite of all this, it seems that Orthodoxy remained in many hearts, and the Soviet government itself recognized this. Under the pressure of the Second World War necessities, the open persecution of the Church stopped.
In 1943, with the approval of Joseph Stalin, a national council of the Orthodox Church was called and Metropolitan Sergei was chosen Patriarch.Two years later, after Patriarch Sergei’s death, the present Patriarch Alexei took office. In 1945, the Orthodox Church was recognized as a religious corporation with the privilege to worship under the control of the government. Some of the theological>>>>>>
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