Mystique in the service of power

The situation of the Russian Orthodox Church changed radically in the late 1980s under Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost. Persecution and marginalization were replaced by a privileged position in society. The greatest difference is that the number of churches open increased from 7,500 to today's 26,600, or triple the number under the early 1980s. The network of monasteries that dates far back in Russian history is enjoying a revival, and the number of monasteries has increased from about fifteen to nearly 700. Statistics show that the Church stands strong despite a long period of persecution that lasted 70 years.

Since 1991, the Church has been led by Patriarch Alexei II, who grew up in the interwar period in an independent Estonia. He descends from a German-Baltic Russified noble family, von Ridiger. He thus has an interesting and unusual background to be the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Nonetheless, there are very few people who actually attend chur...

Den här innehållet är en del av Axess+.

Bli prenumerant för att få åtkomst nu!

Per-Arne Bodin

Professor i slaviska språk med litterär inriktning vid Stockholms universitet.

Läs vidare