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Synopsis

Church-state relations during the Soviet period were much more complex and changeable than is generally assumed. From the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 until the 21st Party Congress in 1961, the Communist regime's attitude toward the Russian Orthodox Church zigzagged from indifference and opportunism to hostility and repression. Drawing from new access to previously closed archives, historian Tatiana Chumachenko has documented the twists and turns and human dramas of church-state relations during these decades. This rich material provides essential background to the post-Soviet Russian government's controversial relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church today.

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