The article is devoted to the interwar story of the Russian diaspora in Finland and focuses primarily on the fate of the Orthodox Church. The Finnish Orthodox Church grew out of the Diocese of Vyborg and Finland of the Russian Orthodox Church, from which, after the declaration of the independence of Finland, it received autonomy in 1921. In 1923, the young church came, with canonical violations, under the omophorion of the Constantinople Patriarch. A jurisdictional crisis and a calendar split in the Orthodox congregation accompanied this move. The Russian diaspora was opposed to acts of the local church authorities, but the situation of Russian refugees was such as it did not allow them to infl uence the decisions of the authorities. It had its own diffi culties, which, in general, were similar to those experienced by the entire Russian emigration. There were also specifi c features which are described in the article. During the years 1917–1939, about 44,000 refugees from Soviet Russia moved to Finland, many of them later went on to Europe and America. Russian Orthodox Christians who remained in 1926–1927 were able to register two old-style autonomous Orthodox communities in Vyborg and Helsinki, which came under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) at fi rst, and in 1945 were passed to Moscow Patriarchate and became the basis of the modern Patriarchal Deanery of the Russian Church. The Orthodox Church in Finland, in addition to economic, social and political problems, faced such phenomena as nationalism and interethnic hostility; nevertheless, it was able to preserve a canonical structure and served as a buff er, conciliating hatred and enmity in people who experienced hardships of the time. As a result, in the postwar period it was able to restore the lost churches, to gain authority in society and to achieve normalisation of relations with the Russian Orthodox Mother Church.
Russian Orthodox Church, Finnish Orthodox Church, Russian Church diaspora, emigration, immigration, Russian diaspora, calendar schism, Finnish Archdio cese of Patriarchate of Constantinople, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Patriarchal parishes in Finland
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Shevchenko Tatyana Academic Degree:
Candidate of Sciences*
in History; Academic Degree:
Candidate of Sciences*
in Theology; Place of work:
St. Tikhon’s University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, 127051, Moscow, Russian Federation; Post:
Senior staff scientist of the Department of the Russian Orthodox Church’s modern history; ORCID: 0000-0002-6497-503X
*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.