Religion: Seeking New Sanctuaries

In Gorky, Soviet Christians cry out for more churches Marxism may teach that religion must wither away, but the state is forever trying to help the process along. Though the new constitution, like the old, "recognizes" religious liberty in the U.S.S.R., the government decides exactly how many churches can stay open. Today there are only 7,500 Russian Orthodox churches, a tenth as many as before the 1917 Revolution, and 1,000 of these are not, in fact, in operation.

Particularly hard hit has been Gorky, a city on the Volga River about the size of Buffalo, N.Y. Gorky has only three small Orthodox...

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