The Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Soviet government in November – December 1917

Aspects of Russian society history

The article analyzes the first contacts of church leadership with the representatives of the Soviet government during the revolutionary events in early November 1917 in Moscow. A special focus is on the Local Council’s attitudes towards the first decrees of the Soviet government regarding the relations between the state and the church. The majority of the Council regarded these decrees as groundless and operated under the premise that the Soviet authorities would not risk implementing the decrees until the decision of the Constituent Assembly. In addition, in the first two months after the Bolsheviks gained power, the highest church officials hoped that the anti-church measures had a temporary, transitory nature and did not yet comprehend the irreversible changes in the state. Comprehending that was hampered by the situation of the raging civil war whose outcome was unclear at the time.