The work was done in accordance with the theme of SRW No. 0177-2018-001
The article considers one of the important episodes of the history of Old Believers of the Belokrinitskaya Hierarchy: the attempt to create in the USSR in 1955 the Moscow metropolis. The work is based on archival documents of the Council for religious affairs under the Council of Ministers, the correspondence of the Archbishop of Moscow and Metropolitan Belokrinitskiy, materials prepared for the enthronement of the Moscow Archbishop , as well as published documentary materials. The question about creation of the Moscow metropolis instead of the Archbishopric was raised by Russian old believers repeatedly from 1861. At 1948 this question was brought up to discussion by Metropolitan Tikhon Belokrinitskiy (Romania), but because of personal hostility to him by Moscow Archbishops Irinarkh and then Theophylact and their ambitions discussion and a decision had been delaying. The Soviet state tried to attract and use religious organizations during the Great Patriotic war and immediately after its end, but to 1955 the state have largely lost interest in cooperation and gradually changed its policy. The removal from office of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR G.M. Malenkov at February 1955 coincide with the final phase of creation Moscow metropolis. In such situation the Council for religious Affairs did not dare to take responsibility and to authorize the creation of the belokrinitsa metropolis in Moscow. Despite the seeming randomness this situation was quite natural and was inscribed in the historical context of the relationship of state to religion and religious institutions in the Soviet Union at that period.
Keywords: Old Believers, Belokrinitskaya Hierarchy, Belokrinitskiy metropolis, Moscow Archbishopric, Council for religious Affairs.
About the author
Svetlana A. Inikova – PhD (History), leading researcher at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS;