The Russian Orthodox Church has survived more than seventy years of
the most brutal and sustained attempts to eradicate religion that
has ever been. Weakened but spiritually alive, it is confronted by
the demands of a ravaged, exhausted society. Can it, however, find
the resources and energy to respond to these demands? Jane Ellis
describes the developments and problems in the Russian Orthodox
Church under glasnost and especially since the new freedoms were
granted following the millennium celebrations of 1988. New
opportunities mean new challenges and demand huge new resources.
Old problems in the form of close State and KGB contacts remain,
and new problems in the form of competition from other
denominations and sects arise. Traditionally the Orthodox Church
has enjoyed a 'symphony' with the State. However are unhealthy
links with the KGB and the communist past still damaging the
Church. Is it in danger of becoming a state church?
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