Religion: Atmosphere of Freedom

The leaders of North America's 350,000 Russian Orthodox Church members reached a firm and weighty decision: they would not reunite with the mother church in Russia. Reason: the mother church would not back down on its demand for a pledge of loyalty to the Soviet Government.

Even after the Bolshevik Revolution the North American church* did not deny the general principle of its subordination to the patriarchate of Moscow, but from then on the church actually practiced independence—after almost 125 years of filial allegiance to the Russian Synod.

After U.S. recognition of Russia (1933), the Russian Synod demanded a pledge of loyalty to...

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