The year 1939 was the worst in history for the Russian Orthodox Church. Never before had the institutional and human situation of the church been quite so desperate. Never again, after the Soviet territorial acquisitions of 1939-1940 brought new priests, bishops, and resources to the church, would it become quite so bad. All the monasteries, nunneries, and seminaries were closed. Dioceses did not exist as administrative units. A few of the separated churches sent irregular letters to the metropolitan, but even this meager correspondence consisted mostly of greetings. The new Soviet government already had nationalized all church lands, and it would soon decree the separation of church and state, cancel the church's status as a juridical entity, ban state subsidies to clergy and religious bodies, seize church bank accounts, deny legal standing to church marriages, divorces, and baptisms, and ban organized religious education of the young.