Orthodox clergy, persecutions of Church, Ad Hoc Committee on Investigation of Crimes of Bolsheviks under Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the South of Russia, sources for Church history, Civil War, “red terror”, archbishop Mitrofan (Simashkevich), bishop Germogen (Maximov)
Biryukova Yulia (2019)
"Orthodox clergy, persecutions of Church, Ad Hoc Committee on Investigation of Crimes of Bolsheviks under Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the South of Russia, sources for Church history, Civil War, “red terror”, archbishop Mitrofan (Simashkevich), bishop Germogen (Maximov) ",
Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta.
Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi
pp. 40-50 (in Russian).
DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201987.40-50
This article deals with motives and scale of murders of the clergy in the period of “red terror” in South Russia in 1918‒1919 as well as with the attitude of the population to these events. Numerous facts of atrocities against the clergy are classifi ed in accordance with the reason, way, and accompanying circumstances. Local Soviet authorities were much better disposed to the clergy and even protested against monstrous terrorist activities of the Red Army. Murders were committed because of false information and rumours, when the priest’s duties were carried out, during peacekeeping mission. The reasons for murders were often not indicated, but the circumstances of murders connected with specifi c cruelty and atrocity, both when the victims were alive and after death, devastation of churches and sacred objects show that the reasons are to be looked for in the sphere of mentality. Through the destruction of the clergy the entire system of moral values was being destroyed. The terror was establishing other values and was making free brutal tendencies in the population, previously constrained by Christian standards. This contributed to moral decay. However, the attitudes of the population to the ongoing terrorism ware not uniform, as there were those who took part in the murders and those who served as a restraining factor because the new authorities were afraid to cause outrage in that part of the population who supported the clergy. The article comes to the conclusion that the “red terror” towards the church had a chaotic, spontaneous, irrational and large-scale character. It did not represent a repressive response, a defensive or precautionary measure, because there were no grounds for these. It was carried out against peaceful population, out of any legal dimension, and had features of Lynch’s law, banditism, and mass hysteria.
orthodox clergy, persecutions on Church, the special commission to Investigate crimes of Bolsheviks led by Commander in Chief of the Army in the South of Russia, a source of Church history, Civil war, "red terror", archbishop Mitrofan (Simashkevich), bishop Germogen (Maximov).
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Information about the author
Biryukova Yulia Academic Degree:
Candidate of Sciences*
in History; Place of work:
Don State Technical University; 1, Gagarin sq., Rostov-on-don, 346500, Russian Federation; Post:
Associate Professor; ORCID: 0000-0001-5321-2574
*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.