Religion: The Trials of a True Believer

Nine sermons bring fame and misfortune to a Soviet priest

Even in the Soviet Union, Easter is one of the year's most joyous days. By Orthodoxy's ancient Julian calendar, this year's feast comes the day before May Day. The long cruel grip of a northern winter is broken, and this week 30 million Orthodox are fasting in anticipation of the holy day, painting gaily decorated eggs and baking rum-laced cakes to be blessed at Easter Eve services. Crowds, including thousands of atheists, will flock to watch the predawn procession of crosses and icons around...

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