Obozny Konstantin

Plans and prospects of uniting Orthodox Churches in occupied territories of USSR and Central Europe under aegis of exarch Sergiy (Voskresenskiy) in 1941‒1944

Obozny Konstantin (2019) "Plans and prospects of uniting Orthodox Churches in occupied territories of USSR and Central Europe under aegis of exarch Sergiy (Voskresenskiy) in 1941‒1944 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2019, vol. 88, pp. 58-77 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201988.58-77


This article shows main directions in the external policy of metropolitan Sergiy (Voskresenskiy), who during the period of April 1941 to May 1944 was in charge of the Baltic exarchate of Moscow patriarchy. The main sources are made up of the published materials of the German occupant offi ces that dealt with church issues; documents of the office of the Baltic exarchate; diary notes and memoirs of the participants of the relevant events. The study of these records allowed us to fi nd out that contacts and negotiations with German occupant authorities and preserving the jurisdictional unity with Moscow patriarchate were important elements in exarch’s church policy which was aimed at uniting Orthodox churches under the aegis of Moscow patriarchy. Metropolitan Sergiy attempted to extend his church power and, consequently, canonical borders of Moscow patriarchy, over the whole territory of Reichskommissariat Ostland, over the occupied territory of Smolensk region, over the territories of France and Germany. In Central Europe, Orthodox parishes of Moscow patriarchy and those of metropolitan Evlogiy (Georgievskiy) were preserved; they were under serious pressure of German authorities. The Baltic exarch tried to support not only parishes of Moscow patriarchy, but also Eulogian communities that were under the jurisdiction of patriarch of Constantinople, thus offering them to return to the jurisdiction of Moscow. Exarch’s plans to unite Orthodox churches into a single structure contradicted the general doctrine of the Third Reich and were therefore doomed to failure. However, one should not underestimate the changes at the battlefi elds of World War II and strengthening of power of the USSR, including the signifi cance of the “new course” of Stalin’s religious policy. It was because of this that metropolitan Evlogiy in Paris after the election of patriarch in Moscow ceased to connect with the Baltic exarchate his hopes to return to Moscow patriarchate.


Baltic exarchate, Moscow patriarchate, West-European parishes, metropolitan Sergiy (Voskresenskiy), religious politicy of Third Reich, German occupation, Pskov Orthodox Mission


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Information about the author

Obozny Konstantin

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: St. Philaret’s Orthodox Christian Institute; 29 Pokrovka Str., Moscow, 105062, Russian Federation;
Post: Department of Church-Related and Historical Disciplines;
ORCID: 0000-0002-5284-4884;
Email: suhoput2006@yandex.ru.

*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.