chapter  3
21 Pages

Church–state relations

View from the Moscow Patriarchate
WithSophie Kotzer

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) attitude towards the Soviet state during perestroika was in many ways similar to its attitude towards secular authorities throughout Russian history, and it underlined the mutual interests of both parties. This chapter focuses on the dynamics of the ROC attitude towards the state during perestroika. It examines the underlying interests of the Church, expressed in such themes as the attitude of Church hierarchs towards the putsch and the disintegration of the USSR, the involvement of the ROC in the implementation of Soviet foreign policy, the ROC ecumenical ties, including relations with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), theological education, publishing activity and the social role of the Church. It also underlines the general transformation of the Moscow Patriarchate’s position towards the state. The change occurred only after the inauguration of Patriarch Aleksii II in 1990.