Date of Award

1987

Document Type

Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. Fran Coulter

Second Advisor

Dr. Hal Bass

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Auffenberg

Abstract

Throughout the history of the Soviet state, its leaders have dealt with the question of Christian evangelical religion in varying manners utilizing anti-religious propaganda, legislation, and interpretation of this legislation. Dealing with religion in terms of balancing ideology versus practicality has always been a complex question for these leaders. Since the Stalin era, the state has utilized a system of registration to control the church. This registration produced a paradoxical leadership role for those in charge of the registered churches.

In the past thirty years, these recognized leaders of registered groups have been a liaison between church and state, a factor in the emergence of significant dissent groups, and a player in Soviet foreign policy. Examining these representatives' origins, evolution, and role is crucial to understanding the paradoxical nature of Soviet evangelical church/state relations. To accomplish this examination, one must specifically define the role of these leaders, examine the early history of representative evangelical groups, and show how the leadership position originated and evolved in Soviet church/state history.

 
 

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