The Russian Orthodox Church has a profound tradition of asceticism, mysticism, and reclusion. Monasticism has always played an immense role in Russian Orthodox piety, not merely among the ordained clergy but also among the laity. A young man faces a profound and irrevocable choice as he progresses through seminary. He may marry and enter the parish clergy, but he must do so before he is ordained a deacon. The monks and nuns also engage in economic activity to earn income, to feed themselves, and to help meet the needs of the church. In the more tolerant days between World War II and the Khrushchev anti-religious drive, the convents had considerable lumbering, small-scale manufacturing, and agricultural operations on adjacent lands. One convent that survived the Khrushchev drive was the Dormition monastery at Pochaev in western Ukraine. Its continuance was a near thing, however, and achieved at great human cost.