On what did the Orthodox Church under the Soviet regime

History 15/02/20 On what made the Orthodox Church under the Soviet regime

After coming to power of the Bolsheviks, the Russian Orthodox Church was separated from the state and deprived of funding. However, for nearly 70 years the Soviet system of ROC resources needed for survival. What money the Church has existed?

by believers

In the early XX century Russian Orthodox Church was a state Agency and governed by a Holy Synod. To the needs of the clergy it annually allocates seven million rubles, and another 18 were released the state Treasury.

in addition, the Church received donations from parishioners, traded at the fairs, had the income from immovable property: land, forests, tenements and artisans ‘ workshops.

With the advent of Soviet power, all state funding of the Russian Orthodox Church was abolished, the Church began to divest its property and, therefore, multi-million dollar revenues. The clergy began to live by donations, and the sale of Church items, especially the candles.

in addition, ROC received income from making requirements: of baptism, marriage, funeral rites, burial, consecration of the house, a well or a garden plot. The population continued in the mass to be a deeply religious, still willing to carry money to the temples.

because of the lack of funds has spread the practice of “plate collection”. During the service at the Church helped the women went with the plates and asked the congregation to help with money.


In 1943 the Soviet Union was restored to the Patriarchate, then there was the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, who coordinated the relationship of Church and state. In addition, we developed the regulations on the management of the Russian Orthodox Church, which determined the sources of income of the clergy.

Item 43 of the Regulations States that “the Church amounts” are the donations of the faithful with “a platem fee” and the needs of the Church in General, as well as proceeds from the sale of candles and other items. All received amounts were transferred to the receipt account to the savings Bank and be given back on checks signed by the rector.

Khrushchev’s “enrichment”

the easing of the persecution under Joseph Stalin led to a gradual increase in the income of the Church. The large income she received from the sale of candles.

So, in 1958, the Chairman of the Council for Russian Orthodox Church Affairs, Paul Cherednyak reported that in 1956 only one diocese earned on the plugs 88 million rubles, which accounted for 70% of its income, and total earnings exceeded $ 100 million.

In such circumstances, the production of candles in the workshops of Russian Orthodox Church continued to increase. The Ministry of Finance of the USSR noted that in 1953, 15 factories of the ROC produced 400 tons of candles, and in 1957 – almost 850.

At the same time workshops are deliberately understated the selling price, which gave parishes the opportunity to pay for candles less and earn on their sales to the parishioners the same. This has led to a decrease in tax revenues from the Church of factories 700 thousand rubles from 1953 to 1957. In the end, the government of Khrushchev decided to increase the fiscal burden for workshops almost 10 times.

However, the revenues of certain dioceses has grown from a committed req. Despite the growing anti-Catholic propaganda, the level of religiosity of the society in the early 1960s, the years increased.

So, the historian Yury Geraskin noted that the income of one only of the Ryazan diocese from making requirements increased from 89 thousand in 1961 to 269 thousand in 1963. ROS and the average annual gross income of the diocese in 1963, he exceeded 1.5 million rubles. In addition to the income from the ceremonies, a considerable amount donated.


this situation-builders “bright Communist future” inspiration. Khrushchev promised to eradicate religion in the Soviet Union by 1980. To do this without taking the Church’s income under control was impossible.

In 1961, followed by a new blow: for the Commission required the priests are not ableand how early to put money in his pocket. Now the father had to write out receipts for their services, and then to report on them before the competent authorities. In the case of mismatches, he could be assessed additional taxes.

thus Obtained, the money was transferred in the Church office. Partially the state has taken them myself, the rest of the funds were used for payments to clergy.

In the end, according to Church historian Alexey Marchenko, the income of clergy was reduced by 6-7 times. A graduate of the Leningrad theological Seminary and Academy Sten’ko lamented that will get your hands on no more than 130 rubles.

the Situation changed only in the era of perestroika. The Russian Orthodox Church began to reclaim the temples and immovable property, and the religion is no longer persecuted.

© Russian Seven

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