Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview

And if it should become necessary to suffer in behalf of the cause of Christ, we invite you, beloved children of the church, to suffer along with us in accordance with the words of the holy apostle: "Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans viii. 35.)

And you, brethren hierarchs and clergy, do not lose even an hour in your spiritual task, and with fiery zeal call upon your members to defend the impugned rights of the Orthodox church; convene religious gatherings; appeal not because of necessity, but take your place in the ranks of spiritual warriors of your own free choice, and oppose to the external violence the force of your genuine spirituality; we then positively affirm that the enemies of the church of Christ shall be shamed and shall be dispersed by the might of the cross of Christ, for the promise of the divine Cross-bearer is immutable: I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail aginst it." (Matt. xvi. 18.)

Source: Matthew Spinka, The Church and the Russian Revolution ( New York, 1927), pp. 118-121. Russian text in Alexander Vvedensky, Tserkov i Gosudarstvo, 1918- 1922 ( Moscow, 1923), pp. 114-116.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

P. B. Anderson, People, Church and State in Modern Russia ( New York, 1944).

G. Buss, The Bear's Hug: Religious Belief and the Soviet State ( London, 1987), pp. 17-34.

J. S. Curtiss, Church and State in Russia: The Last Years of the Empire, 1900-1917 ( New York, 1940).

_____, The Russian Church and the Soviet State, 1917-1950 ( Boston, 1953).

W. C. Fletcher, The Russian Orthodox Church Underground 1917-1970( Oxford, 1974).

D. Pospielovsky, The Russian Church under the Soviet Regime, 1917-1982( New York, 1984).

R. Rössler, Kirche und Revolution in Russland: Patriarch Tichon und der Sowjetstaat ( Cologne, 1969).

N. S. Timasheff, Religion in Soviet Russia, 1917-1942 ( New York, 1942).

A. Wuyts, Le patriarcat russe au concile de Moscou de 1917-1918 ( Rome, 1941). Source for this document.


128
Separation Decree February 5, 1918 [January 23, Old Style]

Early Bolshevik ecclesiastical legislation was crowned by this comprehensive Separation Law, signed by Lenin and eight commissars, which secularized the state and deprived churches of all property and legal status. It marked the official end of the thousand-year-old confessional

Reprinted from The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918, by James Bunyan and H. H. Fisher, with the permission of the publishers, Stanford University Press. Copyright 1934 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.

-331-

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