Orthodox Church in the USSR on the eve of collectivization

Obozny K.P. Orthodox Church in the USSR on the eve of collectivization // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №3. P. 97-108.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-3-97-108


The article describes the position of the Orthodox Church in Soviet Russia on the eve of the mass collectivization and dekulakization in 1930. Based on the church documents and decrees of the Soviet government, the author identifies serious changes in the church life of different dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate. Church schisms, mass repressions, quantitative and qualitative changes in the composition of the clergy —all these factors in some ways prepared Soviet citizens, primarily the peasantry, for serious changes in the agrarian policy of the Bolsheviks. Despite the tough internal policy of the Communist Party, which aimed at eliminating all opposition (political, economic and religious), including among the rural population, the resistance to the collective-farm system was primarily spiritual. Thus, the weakening church and its destruction in the late 1920s—early 1930s became a part of the Soviet government plan that aimed at suppressing and enslaving the peasantry.


Russian Orthodox Church, Sergianism, collectivization, repressions, collective farms, spiritual opposition

About the author

Obozny Konstantin P., PhD (History), Associate Professor, St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute. Pokrovka St., 29, Moscow, 105062, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

The Russian Peasant Studies is published by the Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) since 2016. ISSN 2500-1809. Frequency - four issues per year. The Russian registration number is PI FS77-65824 27-May-2016. Open access: All volumes and articles can be downloaded for free in the PDF format. Russian Peasant Studies included to Russian Science Citation Index, Russian Science Citation Index Core, List of Journals approved by Russian Hihger Attestation committee (Ministry for Sciende and Education) and  Scopus database. The publisher: Delo Publishing House of the RANEPA. Hard copies of the journal can be purchased at the Delo e-store or by subscription in the "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index - Т81017). Full list of the RANEPA Journlas


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