A second dramatic turn around in the fortunes of the Russian Orthodox Church occurred during the Gorbachev era. By the close of 1988, the millennial year, over 800 newly opened parishes had been registered; new monasteries and nunneries had been established; seminaries, theological training institutes, and schools for psalmists, choir directors, and church administrators had opened. Whatever the reason, Gorbachev, the master of the moving bottom line, was never locked into atheistic militancy and had a relatively benevolent attitude toward the church. Early in his incumbency, Gorbachev was searching for allies to make perestroika work. Even before Gorbachev assumed power, there had been an understanding in the government that the Millennium would attract immense worldwide attention. There was a touch of national pride in the attitude of communist leaders toward it. Gorbachev took office in March of 1985, but changes in religious policy came neither right away nor in a clear line of action.