By Dianne Kirby (eds.)
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Extra info for Religion and the Cold War
Additionally, those people inﬂuenced by the foreign policy role played by the Russian Orthodox Church were likely to have been hostile to the USSR in the pre-war period. However, although the strengthening of Orthodox inﬂuence did take place in order to facilitate foreign policy ends, further evidence suggests that these ends were ultimately focused on domestic issues. Karpov’s reports centred on the assertion of political control in the liberated areas of Western Russia/ Ukraine and the territories around which had come under Soviet inﬂuence with the retreat of the Wehrmacht.
The strengthening of the Russian Orthodox church outside Russia, in these reports, is presented primarily as a means of strengthening the domestic church in order to facilitate its assertion of political control over these territories and the destruction of indigenous nationalist movements, and not primarily as a means of strengthening Soviet inﬂuence in the rest of the world. One of the most signiﬁcant post-war roles of the Russian Orthodox Church, and one of the most difﬁcult to justify, was the destruction of the Uniate Church in Western Ukraine.
In order to re-establish the dominance of the Russian Orthodox Church the inﬂuence of the Renovationist and underground churches had to be reduced, and, where possible, eliminated. Although the Soviet state had essentially lost its use for the Renovationist Church when the leaders of the Patriarchal Church had renounced their opposition to Soviet power, the Renovationist Church continued to exist throughout the USSR. 42 In addition, these clergy were encouraged to return to the Patriarchal Church by prejudicial behaviour towards Renovationists.
Religion and the Cold War by Dianne Kirby (eds.)