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Revival of religious life and evolution of the state and church relations in days of the Great Patriotic War



a. V. Khokhlov

REVIVAL of RELIGIOUS LIFE AND EVOLUTION of the STATE and CHURCH RELATIONS in days of the GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

Evolution of the state and church relations is stated. During war there was a revival of religious life of the country. From driven and pursued Church in military years becomes though unequal, but the partner of the state. History of the relations of the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church in days of the Second World War remains one of poorly developed areas of the Russian historiography.

A. Khokhlov RELIGIOUS LIFE RESTORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCH RELATIONS DURING THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

The development of state-church relations is viewed in the article. Religious life restoration tookplace during the Great Patriotic War. Being persecuted before, church has become a partner of the state, though an unequal one. The history of relations between the Soviet State and the Russian Orthodox Church during the Great Patriotic War is remaining to be among the poorly studied spheres of Russian historiography.

The modern period of reforming of all aspects of life of society gives the chance to reconsider many settled stereotypes, to anew comprehend the most important events of national history including a problem of the state and church relations of times of the Great Patriotic War.

At the present stage of development of society the scientific relevance of studying problems of relationship of the state and Russian Orthodox Church significantly increased. During war there was a revival of religious life of the country. From driven and pursued Church in military years becomes though unequal, but the partner of the state. With Russian Orthodox Church the relations which are based on legislative practice of those years are established. These events have for us scientific and historical and practical value.

A church and public conference "For the friend the: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Great Patriotic War" 1, devoted to the 60 anniversary of the Victory, passed on March 24, 2005 in Moscow Sacred Yes - nilovom the monastery. The patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II noted that "The Great Patriotic War which victoriously came to the end 60 years ago was one of the most heartrending experiences which fell to lot of our people in the past XX century... Events of military years especially brightly showed the fact that a considerable part of the population of our country, despite years of repressions and attempt of total domination of compulsory atheism, remained orthodox, faithful to precepts and traditions of ancestors, ideals of Sacred Russia. The patriotic position of a hierarchy and the church people did not allow to split, contrary to plans of Hitlerite strategists, society in an hour of tests, on the contrary, it in many respects promoted strengthening of that unification which all people of our country showed in the face of

an external aggressor, a unification which allowed to stand and win. The believing people in the years of war confirmed that it wants "to be the Orthodox Christian" and at the same time "to understand the Soviet Union of the civil Rodina". The subject of the Great Patriotic War holds a specific place in public consciousness of our people... Today we have all opportunities for reconstruction of a full and objective picture of those great and tragic years. Those who devoted themselves to studying history of Russian Orthodox Church of the period of the Great Patriotic War" 2 have these opportunities and.

Need of deeper studying a problem is confirmed also by the analysis of its scientific development. History of the relations of the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church in days of the Great Patriotic War remains one of poorly developed areas of the Russian historiography. It is possible to allocate several stages in studying this subject: the 1940th — the middle of the 1950th, the middle of the 1950th — the end of the 1980th, the end of the 1980th — the middle of the 1990th

Most of modern historians highly appreciate patriotic activity of church in the works (V.A. Alekseev, M.I. Odintsov, M.V. Shkarov-sky, O.Yu. Vasilyeva, E.L. Hramkova, N.I. Kondakova, I.Ya. Shimon, V.N. Yakunin and others), considering that it promoted consolidation of forces of the country in counteraction to the enemy, strengthened moral and political unity brotherly narodov3. According to them to forbid, to belittle or not to notice patriotic activity of church from the state was business senseless and even compromising the power. Therefore the state was forced to cooperate with this remained public institute, having put it under the control.

The analysis of literature shows that the domestic historical science made a certain contribution to development of the main

problems of history of the relations between the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church. However the gosudarstvennotserkovny relations in days of the Great Patriotic War received insufficient lighting. Low-investigated were problems of evolution of the public church policy during the considered period, ratios of official policy with its concrete embodiment on places, places and roles of Church in bilateral process of relationship with the state. Practically out of sight of researchers there were questions connected with foreign activity of Church of the period of war. At last, many authors actually do not consider existence in the Russian Orthodox Church of various opinions on an issue of relationship of Church with the state.

It should be noted that historians did considerable work on studying separate aspects of a subject. But at the same time neither in domestic, nor in a foreign historiography there are no fundamental works covering all complex of the problems connected with patriotic activity of Russian Orthodox Church in days of the Great Patriotic War with a role of clergy and believers in recovery process in cleared regions yet.

Were the concrete reasons of basic change of nature of the state and church relations in new conditions: patriotic position of Russian Orthodox Church, other religious organizations of the country; the church policy of the Hitlerite management in the occupied Soviet territories directed to use of church against the Soviet state; the aspiration to use possibilities of allies on the anti-Hitlerite coalition for rendering financial and military aid of the USSR.

The analysis shows that from the beginning of war the new policy of the state for religion, church and believers begins. Its essence can be defined as normalization of the relations with church, i.e. creation of such norms which promoted revival of church, the religious church activity directed both to satisfaction of spiritual needs of believers and on patriotic service to business of the general fight against fascist aggressors.

In policy of normalization of the state and church relations in military years the author allocates three periods:

The first stage: On June 22, 1941 — the beginning of November, 1942. This period is characterized by the fact that the state gradually formed at the population, soldiers new perception of church which unambiguously took a patriotic position in relation to the Fatherland. The state carried out the relations with church actually, without giving them legal character.

The first period ended on November 2, 1942. This day there was a Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR which created the State commission on investigation of fascist crimes. The metropolitan Nikolay was appointed the member of this State commission. Therefore, on November 2 it is possible to consider day of the official beginning of process of normalization of the state and church relations.

Thus, it is possible to call the first period in normalization of the relations between the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church preparatory.

The second stage: On November 2, 1942 — 1943. This period consists of two stages. The first stage — since the end of 1942 till September, 1943 it is possible to call a stage of formation of relationship between the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church. Process of cooperation of the state and church in fight against fascist aggressors begins. It is possible to call the second stage since September 4, 1943 until the end of 1943 a stage of creation of a new politikopravovy basis of the relations between the Soviet state and ROC.

The essence of the second period can be defined as basic change of the relations between the Soviet state and Russian Orthodox Church, i.e. the state created such political and legal bases of mutual cooperation which meant impossibility of return to pre-war methods of fight against church, irreversibility of strengthening of relationship in the general fight against the general enemy — the German fascism.

The third stage: The beginning of 1944 — May 9, 1945. This period is characterized by further expansion and deepening of mutual cooperation between the state and ROC, establishment of the constructive relations of the state with all main religious organizations of the country and also manifestation of some negative trends in the gosudarstvennotserkovny relations. Therefore, it is possible to call the third period the period of an intensification of all policy of normalization of the relations between the Soviet state and the church directed to the maximum use by the state of moral and patriotic capacity of church for achievement of a victory over fascist aggressors.

Nevertheless in the relations of the state and church negative trends took place. They were allowed as representatives of the highest echelon of the government, and on places and also in field army and spare military formations. It allows to estimate these trends not only as mistakes and miscalculations, but also as crimes.

The patriotism of church was expressed not only in words, but also particular cases. It and collecting on churches of money in fund of defense of the country, it and the warm clothes sent to the front. At the expense of believers and church were constructed in 1943 a tank column of Dmitry Donskoy and Alexander Nevsky's squadron.

About support of just liberation war of the people of USSR was said by heads practically of all religious centers of the organizations, addressing believers with patriotic messages and addresses, they urged them to fulfill adequately the religious and civic duty, to render the various help to needs of the front and back.

In military years the state made much for creation of conditions of realization of the constitutional principle of freedom of conscience and religion against the background of more and more active inclusion of church in the solution of public tasks.

Activity of church as in the years of war, and is important now for civil consent, about in the country. In days of the Great Patriotic War the religious organizations of all faiths were with all people, rallied people, supported at a difficult moment. In all dioceses of Russian Orthodox Church the clergy and believers carried out vigorous patriotic activity.

It is possible to allocate several directions of patriotic activity of the management of the Moscow Patriarchy. It the addresses to believers, guerrillas, the population of the occupied areas; cooperation with Vseslavyansky committee and ChGK; messages abroad with the purpose to support the anti-Hitlerite coalition; appeals to soldiers of enemy army to stop bloodshed; development of essence of patriotic service to the Fatherland; exposure of fascist ideology; evangelical activity; the organization of collecting money for needs of defense.

the overall performance of orthodox arch-flamens is demonstrated by numerous positive responses to their activity in the USSR and beyond its limits, patriotic activity in orthodox dioceses, monasteries and arrivals and also the collecting money in Fund of defense which exceeded by the end of war of 300 million rubles. Let's note that in fact the sum of the brought donations from believers was much more,

as they were made at the enterprises, in collective farms, state farms, in medical, educational and other institutions where people tried not to advertize the belief.

The clergy and believers everywhere participated in a national feat on protection of the Fatherland. This participation was expressed not so much in collecting money for needs of the front (300 million rubles collected by Russian Orthodox Church had no "leading role" on the general background), how many in ensuring consolidation of our society in time, critical for the country.

Patriotic activity of Russian Orthodox Church would not be correct to be estimated proceeding from the donations collected by it at Fund of defense of the country. It is important to consider that the clergy and believers gave the last kopeks and if it was required, then and life on the Victory altar.

In the years of war all Church, her priors, hierarches, clergymen, monashestvuyushchy and laymen showed surprising samples of height and determination, moral purity and firmness, force of Christian patience, especially those who

it was directed to the front from prisons, camps and references.

After release from fascists of our country the metropolitan Alexy called all believing Russians for restoration of the economy destroyed by war: "From now on peaceful field of activity opens before you. Restore the cities destroyed by fascists and villages. Help the Red Army the material victims, clothes, products and never forget that only in amicable cooperation of the front and back success of a total and final victory over the enemy" 4 is.

The purposes which were set before itself by Orthodox Church in peace conditions on the importance were not less, than in the years of war. It was necessary to lift from ruins of the village, city, temples; praying for fallen, not to disregard well, to give a helping hand to cripples and orphans.

The well-known mercy of Church was shown assembled funds allocated for the help to children and orphans of soldiers. In a month after the end of war Stalin cabled addressed to the patriarch: "I thank you for care of children and families of fighters of the Red Army".

1 Science and religion. — 2005. — No. 5. — Page 6.
2 In the same place.
3 V.A. Alekseev. Illusions and dogmas. — M, 1991; M.V. Shkarovsky Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet state in 1943 — 1964 — SPb., 1995; V.N. Yakunin. Situation and activity of Russian Orthodox Church in days of the Great Patriotic War of 1941 — 1945 — Samara: Samara university, 2001.
4 See: V.N. Yakunin. Situation and activity of Russian Orthodox Church in days of the Great Patriotic War of 1941 — 1945 — Samara: Samara university, 2001. — Page 196.
Samuel Anderson
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