Bartenev Grigory

Interaction between the staff of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church and the state security organs in the period of 1943–1953

Bartenev Grigory (2022) "Interaction between the staff of the Council for the Russian Orthodox Church and the state security organs in the period of 1943–1953 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2022, vol. 104, pp. 108-121 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII2022104.108-121


This article is devoted to the analysis of the relationship between employees of the state security organs (NKVD, NKGB, MGB of the USSR) with members and authorizeds of the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church in the first ten years from the beginning of the Council's existence. The study of this problem was carried out on the basis of the archival documents of the Council for the specified period and made it possible to show the process of forming state policy in relation to the ROC, implemented through the two above-mentioned departments, as well as the difference in the approaches of these departments to church policy. Various types of interaction between employees of the two departments and the stages of development of state policy in relation to the Church in the designated period are revealed. Such periods were the initial period of the Council's work until the Local Council of 1945, when the church policy of the state, carried out through the Council, was perceived as a temporary phenomenon, and there was a division of spheres of influence between the Council and the state security organs in the church issue. The next period ended with a change in the leadership of the MGB in 1946 and was characterized by the implementation of the planned church policy of the state through the Council, whose head G.G. Karpov was formally subordinate to the head of the MGB V.N. Merkulov. After the appointment to the post of Minister V.S. Abakumov and the dismissal of Karpov from the MGB in 1947, the stage of the formation of a new, tougher line in the policy of the state towards the Church began, in which the state security organs played the main role. The events of the "Saratov baptistery" at the beginning of 1949 became an obvious moment of the change in state policy on the church issue. From that moment on, the fourth stage of the tightening of state policy towards the Church began, which continued, despite the arrest of Abakumov and the death of Stalin, until the end of the period under review.


Council for the ROC, Karpov, state security organs, NKVD, NKGB, MGB, church-state policy


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Information about the author

Bartenev Grigory

Student status: Graduate student;
Place of study: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities; 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
ORCID: 0000-0002-1269-1342;
Email: gbartenev@bk.ru.